Washington, Jun 28 - The US Supreme Court today upheld Barack Obama's health-care law giving him a major political boost ahead of the November presidential elections with the apex court ruling that the Congress did not overstep its power by requiring nearly all Americans to buy health insurance.
The heart of the law that is Obama's signature domestic achievement, was upheld in a tight 5-4 vote.
The opposition Republicans had been vehement opponents to the health-care reforms passed by the Obama Administration with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney saying that he would revoke this health-care if voted to power.
While the Supreme Court ruled that the states can reject the law's Medicaid expansion, in its much anticipated order the apex court upheld majority of the provisions of the Obamacare.
"Simply put, Congress may tax and spend. This grant gives the federal government considerable influence even in areas where it cannot directly regulate. The federal government may enact a tax on an activity that it cannot authorise, forbid or otherwise control," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.
"The 5-4 ruling -- a major victory for the White House less than five months before the elections -- will help redefine the power of the national government and affect the health-care choices of millions of Americans," The Washington Post reported, adding that it is a potential game changing decision.
The New York Times said the decision was a striking victory for the president and Congressional Democrats, with a majority of the court, including the conservative chief justice, John G Roberts Jr, affirming the central legislative pillar of Obama's term.
"Many observers called the case the most significant before the court since at least the 2000 Bush vs Gore ruling, which decided a presidential election.
In addition to the political reverberations, the case helps set the rules for one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the economy, one that affects nearly everyone from cradle to grave," the daily said.
In a statement, the US House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said that Democrats are proud to have worked hard to pass this landmark legislation in 2010 and of our efforts to make sure it is implemented in a way that continues to yield new benefits for patients, employers, and care providers.
"Republicans have been trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act since the day it was enacted, and they have been eagerly awaiting today's ruling. But they must now accept that the Affordable Care Act will remain in place and that the time for litigation and partisan posturing on this issue ought to come to an end," he said.
"Republicans now have a responsibility to work with Democrats to implement the Affordable Care Act, and I call on them to do so in order to make care affordable and accessible to Americans," he added.
However Republicans continued to oppose the Obamacare.
The House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price, in a statement said that the ruling by the Supreme Court has set a dangerous precedent by allowing this administration to continue pursuing its unbridled effort to erode personal freedom and undo the principles upon which this country was founded.
"President Obama's health care law trumps personal health care choices in exchange for a more powerful Washington. It will force American citizens to endure diminished quality of care, increased insurance costs, health care rationing and excessive taxation brought on by an overzealous Washington bureaucracy," he said
"We have no choice but to exercise every possible legislative option to repeal this disastrous law, and the American people should know that House Republicans will continue to advocate on their behalf to restore personal control over health care decisions," Price said.
Congressman Tom Rooney from Florida said that Obamacare will drive up health care costs for American families and small businesses and hurt health care quality for patients.
"It's going to destroy much-needed jobs, cost taxpayers trillions of dollars, and impose radical new government mandates on individuals and employers.
This law is bad for patients, bad for doctors, and the American people still want to see it repealed," he argued.
"We cannot afford this law. We're going to keep listening to our constituents and continue fighting for full repeal in the House," Rooney said.
"In November the American people will have an opportunity to send to Washington a Senate and a President who are also willing to listen to them and help repeal and replace this entire law," Rooney added. PTI