Supreme Court healthcare ruling

Vocabulary from the Plain English summary of the Supreme Court's ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding.
definitions & notes only words
  1. include
    have as a part, be made up out of
    The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional.
  2. individual
    being or characteristic of a single thing or person
    The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional.
  3. mandate
    a document giving an official instruction or command
    The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional.
  4. virtually
    in essence or effect but not in fact
    The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional.
  5. health
    the general condition of body and mind
    The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional.
  6. insurance
    protection against future loss
    The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional.
  7. constitutional
    existing as an essential characteristic
    The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional.
  8. uphold
    stand up for; stick up for; of causes, principles, or ideals
    There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance.
  9. congress
    a meeting of elected or appointed representatives
    There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance.
  10. regulate
    bring into conformity with rules or principles or usage
    There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance.
  11. commerce
    transactions supplying goods and services
    There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance.
  12. require
    have need of
    There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance.
  13. justice
    the quality of being just or fair
    However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power.
  14. refuse
    show unwillingness towards
    However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power.
  15. impose
    charge and collect payment
    However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power.
  16. survive
    continue in existence after
    Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding.
  17. court
    an assembly to conduct judicial business
    Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding.
  18. statute
    an act passed by a legislative body
    Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding.
  19. provision
    the activity of supplying something
    Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding.
  20. comply
    act in accordance with someone's rules, commands, or wishes
    Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding.
  21. requirement
    necessary activity
    Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding.
  22. risk
    a source of danger
    Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding.
  23. funding
    financial resources provided to make some project possible
    Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding.
  24. funds
    assets in the form of money
    On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn't comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.