Supreme Court ObamaCare; ObamaCare has been taken to the Supreme Court once already for repeal. Aside from ObamaCare’s Supreme Court ruling it has seen over 50 repeal attempts by the house and senate. Despite opposition, the Affordable Care Act remains “the law of the land” after being upheld by NIFB V Seleblius. However, the fate of the law hinges on King V Burwell, a case focusing on the legality of subsidies. The Supreme Court has heard arguments for King V Burwell, but hasn’t ruled on the case yet.

The Two Major Supreme Court Lawsuits

There have been two major Supreme Court lawsuits pertaining to the Affordable Care Act that could have resulted in the repeal or dismantling of the law. They are:

  1. The 2012 NIFIB V Seleblius case (discussed below) – Rule in favor of ACA with some changes
  2. The 2015 King V Burwell case (you can follow the case here, we wont update this page until the case has been ruled on) – Expected to rule in favor of ACA, although we don’t know yet.
You can see the full list of ObamaCare lawsuits here including information on the Hobby Lobby lawsuit. If you are looking for information on King V. Burwell (the subsidy lawsuit) go here. Aside from the two major cases, four other cases brought to the Supreme Court include the Hobby Lobby case and other similar lawsuits aimed at the requirement for employers to provide contraceptive coverage. The most recent contraceptive lawsuit Michigan Catholic Conference v. Burwell ruled in favor of the plaintiff.

ObamaCare Supreme Court Ruling UPHOLDS Health Care Reform

The decision on the ObamaCare ruling by the Supreme Court on National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius was decided on June 28, 2012. The Supreme Court ObamaCare ruling was a 5-4 ruling to uphold the Affordable Care Act. The final Ruling on ObamaCare had a few implications ranging from ObamaCare being defined as a tax and not a mandate and a choice for States to Opt-Out of Medicaid Expansion.

Supreme Court ObamaCare Ruling

The Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare on June 28, 2012. The final ruling on ObamaCare was a made by Supreme Court Judge Vinson. The basic idea of the ruling was that ObamaCare was declared a tax and not a mandate and was therefore declared constitutional.

The ruling also let State’s opt-out of expanding Medicaid, almost half of U.S. States opted out of expanding Medicaid in 2014 as of October 2013 leading to 5.9 million of our nations poorest without access to affordable health insurance.

Here is the Presidents official statements on the ruling:

What Does the Ruling Mean to ObamaCare?

The good news is the ObamaCare (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) that passed in 2010 remains the law (abet with some changes), however during the ObamaCare Supreme Court ruling some important aspects of the health care bill were lost. The biggest loss in the ruling was to Medicaid and it has mostly slipped under the radar, but it will greatly effect Americas poorest 7%.

obamacare supreme courtObamaCare Supreme Court Ruling: The NFIB V. Medicaid

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) v. Sebelius (the official name of the ObamaCare supreme Court Ruling on ObamaCare) ruling upheld most of the Affordable Care Act. However a few changes were made, most importantly the ruling on Medicaid. The NFIB, which claims to represent independent businesses but has constantly been accused of being a big business backed organization which goes after programs that helps America’s smallest businesses and working poor, raised enough funds to get their repeal of ObamaCare to the supreme court.  NOTE: the ACA provides big subsidies to small businesses with less than 25 full-time equivalent employees and those making less than $40,000 a year.

The ruling on Medicaid allows states to reject Medicaid for their poorest (roughly 7% of the population or 5.9 million people). Even though giving states a choice in how they handle Medicaid may not seem like a big deal this was a major victory for those who seek to repeal ObamaCare. It is much easier to fight laws at a state level, this means that anti-Obamacare states (Red states and some swing states) are able to deny their constituents of health insurance and thus avoid folks seeing the new law in a favorable light. These changes will also increase the cost of ObamaCare for the rest of Americans by putting extra pressure on federal tax dollars to cover those who states let slip between the cracks as Medicaid is a joint funded program between federal government and state, while tax credits some of these folks will use to get coverage are federally funded only.

ObamaCare Supreme Court Ruling: A Tax not a Mandate

Although most of the law will be upheld the other major change is basically semantics. ObamaCare will no longer be a mandate (meaning Americans must buy health insurance, which keeps the cost down for all Americans) instead Obamacare will be a tax, meaning that those who opt out don’t pay a tax and those who opt in will receive tax breaks. This doesn’t change how ObamaCare affects the average American, but it does have an impact on how the courts will treat the law moving forward.

Justice Roberts on ObamaCare as a Tax Not a Mandate

Although ObamaCare was almost strike down due to some semantics over the difference between a tax, a penalty, and a mandate the final ruling can be best summed up by Chief Justice Roberts:

“The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax. Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness.”

ObamaCare is Upheld by the Supreme Court, for Now

Although the Affordable Care Act was upheld by the supreme court ruling we should all keep in mind that upcoming elections will have a major impact on the success of reforming health care and health insurance in the united states. If the Affordable Care Act is given a chance to grow many will see the benefits of reforming our system.  If it is dismanted before it can have a more significant impact on America, further improvements to our healthcare system will only be harder to implement. (ObamaCare Supreme Court Image Public Domain)

Aspects of ObamaCare that Remain Largely Unchanged By Supreme Court Ruling

The ObamaCare is safe for now. Here are some aspects of the law that will help your family:

1. Americans Getting Health Care Through Their Employer:  Under the Affordable Care Act all American’s are required to have insurance. That means companies must either provide their workers with health insurance or deem that it would be cheaper to subsidize them or let them get health insurance through the state. In most cases this will have little impact on you financially (although you just may be saving money). The major difference is that for some employees will have additional protections provided by the supreme court’s ruling on health care reform, namely no limits or restrictions on benefits, annual limits and as well as a few other protections detailed in the Affordable Health Care and Patient Protection Acts.

2. American’s Receiving Health Care Coverage Through Medicare: The Affordable Care Act will continue to provide protections and benefits to seniors who receive coverage through Medicare. Since the Act was passed in 2010 Seniors have saved billions of dollars on the cost of prescription drugs, co-pays and premiums. This upholding of reform also helps to save money and offer better care seniors on Medicare Advantage. (However the aforementioned blow to Medicare being offered to the nations poorest will have a negative effect on all Americans).

3. Individual Policy Holders: Obamacare health care reform requires all U.S. citizens to have health care insurance. Of course if you all ready have private insurance the healthcare reform will have little impact on you. Your rates may shift slightly and your coverage will have added protections.

4. Uninsured Americans: The Supreme Court ruling means that most of the law set forth by Obama’s health care reform will remain unchanged This means that all uninsured Americans will still have the option to buy health insurance through the state or federal exchange. Those Americans who cannot afford coverage can get a federal subsidy. Of course the law will offer the same protections to all Americans which include not being able to be turned away for preexisting conditions (effective 2014 if that aspect is not overturned by that point).

5. Small Business Owners: Truly small businesses have always been in a bad space when it comes to providing health insurance for their employees due to their income bracket. While health care reform will not solve this problem, it does offer more options for employers wishing to provide coverage to their employees. It’s worth noting that ObamaCare does not tax businesses making under $250k, but does guarantee coverage to business owners and their employees.

Supreme Court ObamaCare: The Future of ObamaCare

The ObamaCare supreme court ruling has keep ObamaCare (mostly) intact for now. The law still stands, however time will be the test. If the Affordable Care Act goes to the supreme court again, the next ruling on ObamaCare could be it’s last.


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