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Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Requirements

"Obamacare" provision requires most Americans to have health coverage or pay a penalty.

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the health insurance mandate in President Obama's sweeping healthcare reform law, according to the New York Times.

The law aims to cover 30 million otherwise uninsured Americans.

Chief Justice John Roberts announced the ruling and was backed by Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

“I commend the Supreme Court for upholding the Affordable Care Act," said Councilwoman Letitia James, D-Fort Greene. "The Supreme Court made the right decision based on the merits of the case. This a victory for all working Americans suffering under the weight of rising healthcare ... this is a victory  for our President."

Other city officials praised the decision.

"The Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act is great news for our City, State and Nation," city Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a statement.

"Now that the Supreme Court has recognized the right to universal access to affordable health care, it is time for the extreme right to drop their attacks and start working constructively to help meet the law's principal objectives – providing all Americans with access to the best health care in the world, while bringing down the costs of our health care system."

Congressman Edolphus "Ed" Towns said, "I am pleased that the Supreme Court agrees and that those who have seen the numerous benefits of the law will not lose them."

Assemblyman Hakeem Jeffries said, "The Supreme Court has spoken and President Obama's historic health care reform is now the law of the land. As I said during my campaign, I plan to go to Washington to work with the president, and one of my priorities is making sure that this new law is implemented fairly and effectively."

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, "It is time to get beyond scoring political points and get back to finding common core values and passing legislation that will help grow our economy and get more people back to work."

The law, which requires most Americans to have health insurance or face penalties, was challenged on the basis that Congress had overstepped. Dissenting justices include Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito.

The court ruled the mandate can be considered a tax.

"Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness," Roberts said.

Stay with Patch for updates on this developing story.

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