"A sharply divided Supreme Court on Thursday [June 28, 2012] upheld the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare overhaul law that requires that most Americans get insurance by 2014 or pay a financial penalty, Reuters reports.
The article contines: "’The Affordable Care Act’s requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax,’ Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the court’s majority in the opinion. ‘Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,’ he concluded. The vote was 5-4."
That part of the healthcare law has commonly been referred to as the "individual mandate."
The story adds, "In another part of the decision and in a blow to the White House, a different majority on the court struck down the provision of the law that requires the states to dramatically expand the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor."