The Supreme Court on Thursday morning upheld the requirement in the Affordable Health Care Act mandating that most Americans have health insurance. That means that once the act goes into effect, people without health insurance could be penalized.
Various press release distribution services began humming this morning as companies, organizations, and politicians staked their positions on the ruling. A handful of public relations professionals with whom PR Daily
spoke said they planned to spend the day positioning their clients in the wake of the decision.
Meanwhile, don't be surprised if some companies take this opportunity to drop some bad news since very few people will be paying attention. In fact, a few already have
The act, known as Obamacare, is President Obama's key domestic legislative achievement. The ruling from the Supreme Court is perhaps the most highly anticipated decision since Bush v. Gore in 2000. Chief Justice John Roberts, who in most cases has sided with conservatives, joined liberal members of the court in the 5-to-4 vote.
offered this description of the ruling in "plain English":
"The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding."
Fox News and CNN jumped the gun
on the ruling and reported that the individual mandate had been struck down. This was incorrect. The New York Times
said it's going to take its time on its coverage of the ruling. Daniel Victor, a social media producer at the Times
, tweeted: "Once we are comfortable with its basic meaning, you can expect a torrent of coverage." @nytimes
sloooowin it down."