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Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare

What it Means to Conservatives

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Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare

The Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments

Alex Wong, Getty Images News
On June 28th, 2012 the United States Supreme Court handed down their decision on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare. The conservative challenge was brought by more than two dozen states, organizations, and individuals who challenged the federal government’s over-reach, claiming that US government has no authority to impacts each state’s legislative health care agenda and harm the general statewide budgeting process. The main dispute revolves around the individual mandate, where the plaintiffs argue the federal government has no right to force an individual to participate in commerce unwillingly.

The Ruling

Overall, Obamacare was determined as Constitutional. The individual mandate was upheld as a tax. The decision was written by Chief Justice John Roberts, a George W. Bush appointee, who sided with the liberal members of the court to uphold the law. Read the official opinion.

What it means for Conservatives

The individual mandate was upheld as a tax, and overall the entire act was held up as Constitutional. This means that the only method to stop Obamacare is to now elect Mitt Romney as President and legislatively eliminate the law. One possible good piece of news for conservatives is that since the entire law was virtually upheld, including the mandate, it remains a top campaign issue. The individual mandate is incredibly unpopular and has now been determined as a tax, both as argued by the Obama administration and ruled by the court. With the mandate still in effect, it increases the likelihood that the desire for the bill to be repealed by the public may continue.

Next Move for Conservatives

It is paramount that conservatives and the Republican Party are active in promising to repeal Obamacare and propose a plan that will have broad appeal and is easy for Americans to understand. Given that Mitt Romney will be the GOP presidential nominee, he will be the main voice of the Obamacare alternative in 2012. The Mitt Romney campaign website leads with this in regards to healthcare:

“Mitt will begin by returning states to their proper place in charge of regulating local insurance markets and caring for the poor, uninsured, and chronically ill. States will have both the incentive and the flexibility to experiment, learn from one another, and craft the approaches best suited to their own citizens.”

While the Obama healthcare plan was one of centralized government control, opposition to free-markets, and over-regulation of businesses, insurance companies, and individuals, conservatives favor a free-market, individual choice centered approach. What Ronald Reagan once said about the differences between communism and capitalism is also true about the differences between liberal and conservative healthcare plans: It’s the difference between a jacket and a straightjacket.

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