(AP) The US Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare reform act on Thursday morning, delivering a surprise boost to his re-election prospects and enraging his conservative opponents.
The Court said that the invididual mandate, the core provision of President Obama’s reform, was legal under the US government’s tax powers.
The ruling, the most keenly anticipated in the recent history of the United States, is now likely set the course for the future of America’s notoriously troubled healthcare system and may also become a pivotal element in the campaign for November’s presidential election.
Republicans have vehemently opposed the reform.
President Obama’s Act “mandates” all Americans to buy health insurance, or face hundreds of dollars of fines. By compelling young and healthy people into the insurance market, the White House believed it would be able to push down the cost of insurance premiums for all and subsidise coverage for the poorest.
However the mandate was fiercely contested by 28 Republican-controlled states. They sued the Obama administration all the way to the Supreme Court, claiming that it had no right to force people into insurance programmes.