The Supreme Court recently voted to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, popularly known as 'Obamacare', that was signed into law by President Obama on March 23, 2010. The most controversial part of this law, a requirement that all individuals buy personal health insurance under certain circumstances, was ruled constitutional by the majority of the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision.
Justice John Roberts, who typically votes with the court's more conservative judges, broke from his block and wrote the majority opinion affirming the law. In his statement he said that because the mandate could reasonably be considered a tax, it was permissible under the constitution.
President Obama praised the court's decision as a victory for those around the country who will benefit from the policy. Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said that although the law may be constitutional, it was still bad policy. He vowed that if elected, he would repeal the Affordable Care Act on his first day in office.
The first three minutes of this video explain the court's ruling and what this means for lawmakers. The rest is a discussion with Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal.
"What the court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the constitution. What they did not do is say that Obamacare is good law or that it is good policy." -Mitt Romney (R), presidential candidate
1. What is the Affordable Care Act, also known as 'Obamacare?' What do you know about it?
2. What does the Supreme Court do?
3. What is health care coverage? Why has it been controversial?
1. Why did this court case receive so much attention? Why does this case matter?
2. How did the court rule in this case? Do you feel the court made the right decision in this case? Why or why not?
3. Do you think that you will be affected by this decision? If so, how?
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