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The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday declared the mandate in Sec. 5000A, requiring U.S. citizens and legal residents to maintain minimum essential health coverage, to be a permissible exercise of Congress’s taxing powers under the Constitution (National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Sup. Ct. Dkt. No. 11-393 (U.S. 6/28/12)).
The court, in a 5–4 decision, held that the payments required of individuals who do not maintain minimum health coverage under the “individual mandate” were not a penalty, but are a tax and are allowed under Congress’s power to tax in Article 1 of the Constitution. This means they are constitutional, even though a majority of the justices found that the individual mandate went beyond Congress’s powers under the Commerce Clause.