KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

The Individual Mandate Survives As A Tax, Justices Find Fault With Medicaid Expansion

In the end, according to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Affordable Care Act survives "largely unscathed."

Kaiser Health News has the text of the court's decision.

You can also watch a replay of Kaiser Health News' live video webcast featuring KHN's Mary Agnes Carey, Stuart Taylor and Julie Appleby as well as SCOTUSblog's Tom Goldstein and Lyle Denniston as they break down Thursday's landmark Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the health law.

Kaiser Health News: Justices Uphold Individual Mandate, Set Limits On Medicaid Expansion
The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld nearly all of the landmark federal health law, affirming its mandate that most everyone carry insurance, but complicating the government's plan to extend coverage to the poorest Americans. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. joined the court's four liberals in upholding the mandate, the best-known and least popular part of the law. The court also upheld hundreds of other rules embedded in the law designed to help millions more Americans obtain insurance and to refashion the health care industry. But a majority of the justices voted that the government could not compel states to expand Medicaid, the federal state program for the poor, by threatening to withhold federal money to existing Medicaid programs (Appleby and Rau, 6/28).

Kaiser Health News (Video): Stuart Taylor: 'Most Amazing Supreme Court Theater I've Ever Seen'
Kaiser Health News' legal analyst Stuart Taylor talks to Jakie Judd about the source of consitutional authority that the Supreme Court found to uphold the law -- and the new options states will have for the Medicaid program (6/28).

The Washington Post: Supreme Court Upholds Health-Care Law, Individual Mandate
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. sided with the majority in voting to uphold the law, Obama’s signature domestic initiative. ... The health-care issue thrust the Supreme Court into the public spotlight unlike anything since its role in the 2000 presidential election. The court’s examination of the law received massive coverage — especially during three days of oral arguments in March — and its outcome remained Washington's most closely guarded secret (Barnes and Aizenman, 6/28).

Los Angeles Times: Supreme Court Upholds Healthcare Law As Tax Measure
The ruling was not a total victory for the Obama administration. Chief Justice Roberts, who wrote the opinion for a 5-4 majority, said the required expansion of Medicaid violates states' rights may be unconstitutional. "The states are given no choice in this case. They must either accept a basic change in the nature of Medicaid or risk losing all Medicaid funding," he wrote. He said the federal government cannot require the states to follow this part of the law (Savage, 6/28).

The Wall Street Journal: Supreme Court Upholds Mandate As Tax
It upheld the mandate as a tax, in an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts. The justices also found fault with part of the health-care law's expansion of Medicaid, a joint federal-state insurance program for the poor. The justices made some changes to the Medicaid portion of the law. The court said Congress was acting within its powers under the Constitution when it required most Americans to carry health insurance or pay a penalty—the provision at the center of the two-year legal battle (Kendall, Radnofsky and Bravin, 6/28).

The New York Times: Supreme Court Lets Health Law Largely Stand
The Supreme Court on Thursday largely let stand President Obama's health care overhaul, in a mixed ruling that Court observers were rushing to analyze (Cushman, 6/28).

Politico: Supreme Court Upholds Health Law Mandate
The Supreme Court upheld the health care law's individual mandate Thursday, ruling that Congress did not overstep its power by requiring nearly all Americans to buy health insurance. Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the court's four liberal justices in the ruling, which says Congress had the authority for the mandate under Congress's taxing power (Haberkorn, 6/28).

USA Today: Supreme Court Upholds Obama Health Care Law
The Supreme Court upheld the health care law today in a splintered, complex opinion that gives President Obama a major victory. Basically. the justices said that the individual mandate -- the requirement that most Americans buy health insurance or pay a fine -- is constitutional as a tax (Jackson, 6/28). 

Reuters: Supreme Court Upholds Centerpiece Of Obama Healthcare Law
"The Affordable Care Act's requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court's majority in the opinion (Vicini, 6/28).

ABC News: The Mandate Can Stay, Supreme Court Says In Health Care Ruling
In a landmark ruling with wide-ranging implications, the Supreme Court today upheld the so-called individual mandate requiring Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty, the key part of President Obama's signature health care law. The court ruled that the mandate is unconstitutional, but it can stay as part of Congress's power under a taxing clause. The court said that the government will be allowed to tax people for not having health insurance (Negrin and de Vogue, 6/28).

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.