The U.S. Supreme Court voted 5-4 to uphold President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate that requires almost all Americans to buy health insurance. Chief Judge John Roberts wrote the decision for the majority, sending key provisions of Obamacare into effect over the next few years.

It was a mixed ruling that is still being closely analyzed, but clearly the nation’s highest court largely let the sweeping health care overhaul stand, The New York Times reports:
The law, passed by Congress in March 2010, put in motion the creation of a nationwide insurance system that would sharply reduce the number of Americans without coverage, a goal that Democratic presidents had unsuccessfully pursued for 75 years.

The high court’s 5 to 4 decision was a striking victory for the president and Congressional Democrats, with a majority, including the conservative chief justice, John G. Roberts Jr., affirming the central legislative pillar of Mr. Obama’s term.

The court case had centered on the so-called individual mandate, a requirement that all Americans obtain health insurance or pay a fine. Republicans challenged it as an unconstitutional expansion of federal power. The Obama administration argued that it was needed to fix basic flaws in the insurance market and that it was crucial to provisions like the requirement that insurers accept all comers without regard to pre-existing health conditions.
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