The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the lifetime health insurance requirement of President Obama's health care, commonly called "Obamacare," reform in a five-four ruling, 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.
Congressman Edolphus "Ed" Towns said in a statement, "I am pleased that the Supreme Court agrees and that those who have seen the numerous benefits of the law will not lose them."
Councilman Jumaane Williams noted he was pleased with the development, saying "I am elated that the Supreme Court, under the leadership of Chief Justice Roberts, has stood up for fundamental fairness and quality health care for every American."
"New Yorkers have much to celebrate today as we look forward to the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the expansion of insurance coverage to the most vulnerable among us," Williams said.
It is long past time to turn the corner in Washington and make progress on the myriad issues that have been ignored during this protracted debate. I call on Congressional Republicans to end their stonewalling of President Obama, get to work and begin producing results for America."
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."
"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."
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said in a statement, "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."
City Comptroller John Liu said, "New Yorkers will now benefit from increased access to primary and preventive care, added help in finding and using insurance coverage, and an overall focus on spending our healthcare dollars more wisely."
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.