U.S. Healthcare Verdict Gives Obama Huge Win

Friday, 29 June 2012, 07:20 Hrs
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Washington: President Barack Obama scored a major victory in the run-up to the November presidential poll with the U.S. Supreme Court in a historic verdict largely upholding his signature health care law.

Obama's stunning victory in a 5-4 split verdict Thursday was all the more sweet as the majority decision upholding the core of the law, dubbed "Obamacare", was written by conservative chief Justice John Roberts appointed by Obama's Republican predecessor George Bush,

With Roberts casting the fifth decisive vote, the conservative-dominated court essentially ruled that the so-called individual mandate requiring all people to have health insurance beginning 2014 or pay a fine was unconstitutional under the commerce clause, but would stand if seen as a tax.

"The federal government does not have the power to order people to buy health insurance. Section 5000A would therefore be unconstitutional if read as a command. The federal government does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance," Roberts wrote.

Four conservative justices disagreed. "To say that the Individual Mandate merely imposes a tax is not to interpret the statute but to rewrite it," they wrote in their dissenting opinion.

Careful not to spike the ball with the win on the politically divisive issue, Obama in a measured statement termed the apex court decision as a victory for all American people. Speaking from the White House shortly after the verdict, he said: "Whatever the politics, today's decision was a victory for people all over this country whose lives are more secure because of this law."

Source: IANS
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