Supreme Court has ruled in favor of keeping President Barack Obama's much-maligned health care legislation, which has been dubbed "Obamacare" by folks on both sides of the fence. The decision to keep the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was pretty narrow; the law was upheld by an extremely close 5-4 ruling, which means every American will still be required to have some form of health care insurance by 2014.
On Tuesday, Obama spoke out in defense of his controversial law, which many feel is simply unconstitutional. "It's the right thing to do that we've got 3 million young people who are on their parent's health insurance plans that didn't have it before," the president explained. "It's the right thing to do to give seniors discounts on their prescription drugs. It's the right thing to do to give 30 million Americans health insurance that didn't have it before."
Romney, meanwhile, criticized the legislation in Virginia on Tuesday. "If Obamacare is not deemed constitutional, then the first three and a half years of this president's term will have been wasted on something that has not helped the American people," he said. "If it is deemed to stand, then I'll tell you one thing. Then we'll have to have a president -- and I'm that one -- that's gonna get rid of Obamacare. We're gonna stop it on day one."
As the election draws near, the Affordable Care Act is sure to be a hot-button issue voters. Many Republicans already feel this law sets a dangerous precedent, as it gives the government too much power over what sort of economic decisions it can force the American people to make. In fact, outrage over Obamacare is what helped fuel creation of the conservative tea party movement. When the presidential debates really start heating up, expect both candidates to address the issue at-length with their respective supporters.
In addition to requiring U.S. residents to purchase some sort of health care by 2014, the law also states that companies cannot deny coverage based on preexisting conditions. Additionally, the legislation prevents insurance providers from setting a dollar limit on health coverage payouts. Preventative care must also be provided at no extra cost to the individual.
The Justice Department's defense is that people will need health at some point in their lives, and, as such, cannot choose whether or not to participate in the market.
For a small taste of how the American people are reacting to this breaking story, take a look at our Twitter Reacts article about the ruling.