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Saturday, October 24, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Eye On Boise

U.S. Supreme Court upholds health care reform, individual mandate

Lots of confusion initially this morning as the complex U.S. Supreme Court ruling on health care reform comes out, but here's a summary from SCOTUSBlog: "The bottom line: the entire ACA is upheld, with the exception that the federal government's power to terminate states' Medicaid funds is narrowly read." The high court upheld the individual mandate on a 5-4 vote. Here's the initial report from the Associated Press in Washington, D.C.:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The decision handed Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty. Chief Justice John Roberts announced the court's judgment that allows the law to go forward with its aim of covering more than 30 million uninsured Americans.

You can read a full report here from Roll Call, with more detail.

The AP also offers this report on where Idaho stands as the decision hits:

NUMBER OF UNINSURED: 294,000 state residents are uninsured, or about 19 percent.
WHERE THE STATE STANDS: Idaho has not implemented health insurance exchanges, over objections from insurers including Blue Cross of Idaho. The GOP-controlled Idaho Legislature declined to accept federal grants for the project and also balked at putting together a scaled-down state-funded version while awaiting the Supreme Court's decision.
WHAT HAPPENS NOW: Idaho lawmakers were the first in the nation to pass a law in 2010 requiring the state to sue the federal government over the health care overhaul. In 2011, they toyed with the idea of nullifying the law within state borders. Now, they're banking on the U.S. Supreme Court turning down the measure, or barring that, an eventual push by a Republican president and GOP members of Congress to repeal provisions, including the individual mandate or refuse to fund the enterprise. Many GOP lawmakers in Idaho have said they would work hard to block key provisions of the health care changes if the Supreme Court upholds the law.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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