For 90 years, as a nation we have tried to secure health coverage for all Americans. For many years, the United States has been the only industrialized country without coverage for all. Congress spent much of two years working intensely on this legislation and finally passed it. It would have been wrong for an unelected court to strike it down with the issues presented. This is a matter for the political process.
The decision today means that ----
- Tens of millions of Americans without health care can secure it.
- Hundreds of millions of Americans who have or get in the future a pre-existing condition will not lose their health care.
- Millions of young people under 26 now covered by their parents’ policies will not lose coverage.
Chief Justice John Roberts showed great wisdom and courage in leading and writing today’s decision. He found a basis (the tax power) he was comfortable with to uphold the law. He changed constitutional law from a conservative perspective by limiting the ability of Congress to condition federal grants. Because he believed it was the right thing to do, he broke with the beliefs and ideology of his usual allies. I worked with Chief Justice Roberts when he was a lawyer on the Microsoft case. I came to know him and became a big believer in his great character and other high personal qualities. But never more so than today.