In a ruling unusual for its legal support, the Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare is constitutional. While it comes as little surprise that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 is constitutional, the reasoning is curious.
The most controversial component of the Act was the individual mandate to purchase health insurance or face an annual penalty. The US Supreme Court upheld the penalty connected with the individual mandate, finding that penalty constitutes a “tax” and therefore within the power of congress. While it is difficult to conceive of a provision designed to raise no revenue as a tax – hence the curious nature of the decision – the immediate effect of the ruling remains clear. Employers and insurers now have 18 months until January 1, 2014, to come into compliance with the new law.