DENVER (CBS4)– On the final day of the Supreme Court’s session, the majority of justices upheld nearly all of President Obama’s health care reform plan. Now, Colorado’s elected leaders are weighing in on the decision.
That includes the individual mandate requiring Americans to have health insurance or pay a tax penalty.
Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s liberal justices in the 5-to-4 ruling. They said that since Congress has the power to tax the mandate is constitutional.
But the justices did find problems with the law’s expansion of Medicaid for the poor.
The court ruled the federal government cannot withhold full Medicaid allotments to states if they don’t take part in the expansion. Colorado was one of the states that challenged the law.
“I was there for the argument on whether it was a tax. I didn’t see any sentiment among any of the nine judges, even the liberal element said, ‘Now hold it. This isn’t a revenue raising device. You’re trying to coerce behavior here.’ This is a penalty, this isn’t a tax,” said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers.
Rep. Mike Coffman believes that President Obama pulled a bait and switch.
“I think the president is going to pay a very significant price for this at the polls because his opponents are going to remind him he raised taxes on the middle class when he said he wouldn’t,” said Coffman, a Republican representing Colorado’s 6th Congressional District.
Rep. Diana DeGette said the Republicans haven’t offered a better solution.
“The Republicans can make any attacks they want but I think they need to tell people what plan they have to get every American affordable health insurance,” said DeGette, a Democrat representing Colorado’s 1st Congressional District.