“Chief Justice Roberts sides with the left” says the liveblog of the SCOTUS from HuffingtonPost. They’ve upheld the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act. It is being treated as a tax by the courts – that is the interpretation. There is a provision of a sort of state’s rights caveat, but conservatives may be disappointed and shocked, especially with Roberts. What is being parsed here is one of the factions of the conservative movement.
The Official Opinion on the ACA Act:http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/11-393c3a2.pdf
“The Left” liked the mandate because they are empathetic to all, Roberts liked it – more likely – because it goes a long way in marrying private interests with government requirements in which the values responsible are questionable.
The values of the ACA supporters are up for debate, but the values behind for profit health care are not. If the legislature and court are going to uphold the idea that the government can tax and require Americans to buy a product or service, the least they could do is insure that service has Americans best interest in mind – not theirs. This decision is a victory for empathy among the people but also for Big Business related to the the health care industry. It’s a blow for individual choice but a victory for a sense of a shared human (American) condition.