Supreme Court Upholds Key Parts Of Health Care Law; Strikes Down Medicaid Portion

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WHNT) – After months of consideration, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued its ruling on President Barack Obama’s sweeping health care law.

The court affirmed some of the law, and reversed part of the law.  The Court has upheld the issue at the heart of this case — the individual mandate that requires most people to buy health insurance. 

This essentially means President Obama’s health care law is constitutional.

Read more coverage, including reaction to the ruling.

There are other parts of the law that were struck down, though, including the mandate requiring states to expand Medicaid coverage, which would have provided more coverage for the poor. 

“It’s like a gun to the head of the states,” said Chief Justice John Roberts.  The court ruled Congress overstepped its authority in forcing the states to expand Medicaid, but states can still expand the program if they so choose. 

Here are other parts of the ruling:

  • Insurance companies must cover pre-existing conditions.
  • Insurance companies are not allowed to limit lifetime coverage amounts
  • Children can also stay on their parents’ insurance policies until age 26.  That is already the law, and the court ruled that must stand.

More than 50 million Americans currently do not have health insurance. 

Thousands of people stood outside the Supreme Court building on Thursday to hear the ruling and shout support or opposition.

In March, the Supreme Court heard three days of politically charged hearings regarding the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

The challenge focused primarily on the law’s requirement that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine.  Many states filed lawsuits as soon as the law was passed.

The legislation signed by President Obama reached 2,700 pages, nine major sections and some 450 provisions.

The first lawsuits challenging the health care overhaul began just hours after the president signed the measure.

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