Supreme Court on health care law: How they voted, what they wrote

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama's sweeping health care legislation -- the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- in a narrow 5-4 ruling. The court's ruling upheld the law's central provision -- a requirement that all people have health insurance.
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Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion. He was joined by Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan. Those in the dissent included Justices Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

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. Section 5000A is therefore constitutional, because it can reasonably be read as a tax. -- Chief Justice John Roberts
The Framers created a Federal Government of limited powers, and assigned to this Court the duty of enforcing those limits. The Court does so today. But the Court does not express an opinion on the wisdom of the Affordable Care Act. Under the Constitution, that judgment is reserved to the people. -- Chief Justice John Roberts
Upholding the individual mandate under the Taxing Clause does not recognize any new federal power. It determines that Congress has used an existing one.-- Chief Justice John Roberts
Whether federal spending legislation crosses the line from enticement to coercion is often difficult to determine, and courts should not conclude that legislation is unconstitutional on this ground unless the coercive nature of an offer is unmistakably clear. In this case, however, there can be no doubt.-- Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito
The values that should have determined our course today are caution, minimalism, and the understanding that the Federal Government is one of limited powers. But the Court's ruling undermines those values at every turn. -- Justice Antonin Scalia
Imposing a tax through judicial legislation inverts the constitutional scheme, and places the power to tax in the branch of government least accountable to the citizenry.-- Justice Antonin Scalia


President Barack Obama

"The highest court in the land has now spoken. We'll continue to implement this law and we'll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won't do, what the country can't afford to do, is refight the political battles of two years ago or go back to the way things were. With today's announcement, it's time for us to move forward." Watch »

Mitt Romney, presumptive Republican presidential nominee

"What the Court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States, and that is, I will act to repeal Obamacare. Let's make clear that we understand what the Court did and did not do. What the Court did today was say that Obamacare does not violate the Constitution. What they did not do was say that Obamacare is good law or that it's good policy." Watch »

House Speaker John Boehner

"The president's health care law is hurting our economy by driving up health costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire. Today's ruling underscores the urgency of repealing this harmful law in its entirety."

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi

"This decision is a victory for the American people. With this ruling, Americans will benefit from critical patient protections, lower costs for the middle class, more coverage for families, and greater accountability for the insurance industry."

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

"Unfortunately Republicans in Congress continue to target the rights and benefits guaranteed under this law. They'd like to give the power back to the insurance companies, the power of life and death back to the insurance companies. But our Supreme Court has spoken. The matter is settled."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

"Today's decision makes one thing clear: Congress must act to repeal this misguided law. Obamacare has not only limited choices and increased health care costs for American families, it has made it harder for American businesses to hire."

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