By JOHN H. CUSHMAN Jr. Published: June 28, 2012
The Supreme Court on Thursday largely let stand President Obama’s health care overhaul, in a mixed ruling that court observers were rushing to analyze.
The decision was a striking victory for the president and Congressional Democrats, with a majority of the court, including the conservative chief justice, John G. Roberts Jr., affirming the central legislative pillar of Mr. Obama’s term.
Many observers called the case the most significant before the court since at least the 2000 Bush v. Gore ruling, which decided a presidential election. In addition to the political reverberations, the case helps set the rules for one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the economy, one that affects nearly everyone from cradle to grave.
The decision did significantly restrict one major portion of the law: the expansion of Medicaid, the government health-insurance program for low-income and sick people. The ruling gives states some flexibility not to expand their Medicaid programs, without paying the same financial penalties that the law called for…