(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul -- ruling in favor of the requirement that most Americans can be required to have health insurance, or else pay a penalty.
The decision means the historic overhaul will continue to take effect over the next several years, affecting the way countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care.
The court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid. But even there, it said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold the entire Medicaid allotment to states if they don't take part in the extension.
Gov. Sam Brownback (R)
"Stopping ObamaCare is now in the hands of the American people. It begins with electing a new president this fall."
Derek Schmidt, Kansas Attorney General (R)
“I’m deeply disappointed in the Court’s decision. The era of big government lives on. The Court’s majority declared Obamacare to be nothing more than an old-fashioned tax-and-spend program. No more can Congress or the President claim that this is ‘not a tax.’ American voters now must decide, through the 2012 elections, the wisdom of this formerly hidden tax increase. Kansas policy leaders also now have the choice whether or not to spend more Kansas taxpayer funds to expand the Medicaid program.
The states’ arguments were not ignored. The Supreme Court today flatly rejected the federal government’s unprecedented power grab under the Commerce Clause. It also rejected the federal government’s effort to transform the Medicaid program from a federal-state partnership into a centralized program run by Washington, from Washington and solely for Washington. These legal rulings will benefit the long-term vigor of our federal system.”