Supreme Court upholds health care law


US Supreme Court Building

Katelynn Mccollough

The U.S. Supreme Court announced it would uphold the Health Care Reform Act early Thursday morning, June 28.

The court found the individual mandate, which would require every American to purchase health insurance or pay a fine, is constitutional as a tax.

Chief Justice John Roberts, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, gave the deciding vote that upheld the health care law.

“I think it’s surprising and somewhat of a shock,” said Steffen Schmidt, university professor of political science at Iowa State. “It shakes up the political scene pretty fundamentally.”

Health care reform has been a key piece of legislation for President Barack Obama, and the court’s decision will be a major victory for his administration in this election year.

“It knocks a lot of arguments out from under the Republicans,” said Schmidt, who feels that this could be a boost for Obama and his campaign.

During oral arguments in March, the government argued they had the authority to pass the individual mandate with the power to regulate interstate commerce. The court did not agree with this argument but kept the mandate because the fine amounts to a tax that is within Congress’s constitutional taxing powers.

The reform will change the way Americans go about their health care in the future and will have several policy changes for students, including one that allows them to remain as dependents on their parents’ insurance plans until the age of 26.

“I think the decision is not going to remove this issue from political discussion,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said this decision could be “risky” for Republicans depending on how they react to the health care law from here.