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Supremes uphold health law, you read it here first!

By Paul Choiniere

Publication: theday.com

Published 06/28/2012 12:00 AM
Updated 06/28/2012 10:47 AM

Even supporters of the Affordable Care Act told me I was venturing far out on a thin limb when I predicted in April, after hearing the Supreme court arguments, that the court would uphold the law, including the individual mandate provision.

The limb didn't snap.

Well, I was a little off. I predicted a 6-3 vote affirming the law, but it turned out to be 5-4. I was correct, however, in my expectation that Chief Justice Roberts would join the liberal wing of the court in finding all portions of the law constitutional. In fact he wrote the decision.

Chief Justice Roberts showed great integrity in making a constitutional, not political decision, by rightly concluding the penalty for not buying insurance is essentially a tax, and so allowed by the Constitution. (I, like most every other observer, thought the decision would focus on the Commerce Clause. Surprise!)

Now the debate moves off the judicial stage onto the political one. Democrats want to follow through in implementing the law. Republicans want to repeal it. The choice for voters is clear. What Republicans would do to provide health coverage for 40-50 million uninsured, they aren't saying.

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