What Happens Next for the Affordable Care Act

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday issued its much-anticipated ruling on the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as "Obamacare."

Speculation about the ruling was rife, but few observers guessed that the swing vote in the 5-4 ruling that decided the case would belong to Chief Justice John Roberts. Another surprise was the rationale behind the ruling: The so-called Individual Mandate to purchase health insurance falls within the power Congress has to tax.

But there is much more to this ruling beyond the headlines. If it’s a victory for the Obama Administration, its consequences for the presidential election are uncertain, and it has legal and business implications far beyond this administration, this election and even the issue of health care itself. New York Times business columnist James B. Stewart offers his early analysis of the ruling.