The U.S. Supreme Court announced Thursday morning that the Affordable Care Act mandating every American to purchase health insurance is constitutional and should stand.
The court decided that the government can penalize individuals who refuse to purchase health insurance, according to NBC News. Further, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government can levy a "tax" on individuals who do not buy into the system.
The individual health care mandate is the key provision in Obamacare, and some legal experts thought it could be ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. Had it been stripped from the law, many other provisions—such as covering people with pre-existing conditions and not capping insurance coverage—most likely would have been removed, as well.
The decision is a major victory for the Obama administration, which touted the law, passed in March 2010, as its signature legislative achievement.
Other Americans decried the law due to concerns about the federal government's role in regulating the health care industry.
The Supreme Court justices listened to oral arguments on the case in late March before issuing their decision at 7 a.m. Thursday. The court voted 5-4 to uphold the law, with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the deciding vote and writing the majority opinion.
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