The Supreme Court upholds the requirement that most Americans have health insurance on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to the Associated Press.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the majority opinion to uphold the individual mandate was written by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Bellevue resident, recently defended Washington state's participation in the suit challenging the constitutionality of the mandated purchase of health insurance in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to the Issaquah Press.
At the heart of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is the mandate which requires people to buy health insurance or face a penalty. Opinions have varied on whether the federal government has the power to force such a purchase.
Health care experts interviewed by the Christian Science Monitor believe that the law can survive even if the mandate is declared unconstitutional.
Even without the mandate, the law’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility would cover some 16 million people, about half the total number of people who would gain insurance if the whole law is upheld, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
In addition, federal subsidies and tax credits for low- and middle-income people to buy insurance in the new marketplaces, or “exchanges” – think Travelocity for health care – will make coverage more affordable.