In an innovative ruling that is likely to send shockwaves throughout America, the Supreme Court of the United States decided that the so-called “individual mandate” is constitutional under Congress’s power to tax. The Supreme Court said that the individual mandate provision does not require all Americans to carry health insurance. Instead, the provision is an invitation for everyone to carry health insurance, but if people choose not to carry health insurance then they will have to pay a tax. By 2014, everyone will have to show proof of health insurance when they file their federal tax returns to avoid the tax penalty. For those people who choose not to carry health insurance, they will have to pay a minimal tax penalty each year that they choose to go without health insurance. The Affordable Care Act, also known as “ObamaCare”, has been the center of political debate for the past two years. Mainly, due to the “individual mandate” provision which was said to “require” all Americans to purchase health insurance. The Supreme Court stressed that this provision does not give the government power to require or force anyone to carry health insurance against their wishes. It is entirely each individual’s choice to either carry health insurance or pay the tax.
The Supreme Court’s decision also avoided the complete disruption of the health care system as hospitals, doctors, and employers have already begun preparing for these new changes for more than two years and if ObamaCare would have been “thrown out”, they would have to start from scratch. ObamaCare has already made popular changes with consumers of health care, for instance; young adults can remain on their parents’ plans up until age 26. Other key provisions set to be implemented by 2014 that will help majority of Americans afford health care are that employers of 50 or more employees will have to offer a set level of health benefits or else pay tax penalties starting at $2,000.00 per employee and insurance companies will have to accept all people regardless of their medical histories. Despite the Supreme Court’s decision, health care will definitely be a major topic in the upcoming presidential election, as the Republicans vow to repeal ObamaCare if they win election. As of right now, the Supreme Court’s decision can be seen as a victory for the people of the United States of America.