WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama says the Supreme Court's decision to uphold his health care overhaul is a "victory for people all over the country" and will make their lives more secure. Obama says the decision upholds the fundamental principle that in America - the wealthiest nation on earth - no one should fall into financial ruin because of an illness. The president says the decision means that people with pre-existing medical conditions will not be discriminated against and people will be able to afford quality health care. The nation's highest court on Thursday upheld the individual insurance requirement at the center of the president's overhaul. Polling has suggested that most Americans oppose the law and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney vowed again after the ruling to seek its repeal.
UPDATE: The individual mandate survives. The Supreme Court has upheld the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul -- ruling in favor of the requirement that most Americans can be required to have health insurance, or else pay a penalty. The decision means the historic overhaul will continue to take effect over the next several years, affecting the way countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care. The ruling also hands President Barack Obama a campaign-season victory. The court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid. But even there, it said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold the entire Medicaid allotment to states if they don't take part in the extension. The court's four liberal justices, Stephen Bryer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome.
UPDATED INFORMATION FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS: The Supreme Court has upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The court on Thursday 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.
MORE DETAILS: Stocks of hospital companies are moving sharply higher after initial reports said the Supreme Court upheld the individual insurance requirement in President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. HCA Holdings stock is up 10 percent. Community Health Systems is also up 10 percent. Stocks of drug companies and medical device makers are slightly lower for the day as analysts sort through the Supreme Court's ruling. Stocks of the biggest insurance companies are also lower.
WASHINGTON (AP) - The stakes are huge as the anticipation grows for today's announcement of the Supreme Court's decision on the health care overhaul, but no matter what the court decides, it's unlikely to be the final word. The problems of high medical costs, widespread waste and tens of millions of people without insurance will require Congress and the president to keep looking for answers, no matter what the court rules. Nevertheless, the presidential candidates, governors of virtually every state, insurers with billions at stake, companies large and small and countless millions of Americans concerned about their own medical care are holding their collective breath. The court could either uphold or invalidate all or parts of the law, with different implications involved. The high court also could punt, and rule that a constitutional challenge is premature. That's considered the least likely option.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)