America’s Response to the Affordable Care Act

U.S. Supreme Court Building

Congress singed and passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act in 2010 — an individual mandate that requires all Americans to maintain minimal essential health issuance coverage or pay a penalty unless exempted for religious reasons or due to a certain level of financial hardship. However, this act was met with stiff opposition from numerous states in federal court with the argument that the act of mandating payment for anything from U.S. citizens by their government is unconstitutional. Early on June 28, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States decided in a 5 to 4 vote that the health insurance mandate can be valid as a tax and will be upheld.

This Supreme Court decision was met with a very active response making hashtags and topics dominate the national trending topics on Twitter immediately following the decision. These include #ObamaCare, Roberts, The Supreme Court, Affordable Care Act, Medicaid, and POTUS.

Let’s take a look at some metrics on how the nation has responded.

The Roberts Court

On Intrade, Barack Obama’s InTrade price on his probability of winning in November has seen an uptick after the Supreme Court decision was made. His current probability of winning is 55.5% according to In Trade.

Obama’s It Score has raised three points in the last two weeks, most of which has occurred within the last few days. The individual mandate seems to have potentially helped Obama’s It Score.

Here’s a look at a word cloud featuring an overview of the most used words from tweeters across the nation on the subject.

The health insurance industry has responded in an unusual way. Part of the mandate prohibits health insurance companies from discriminating between their individual clients based on health conditions. Here’s a look at what happened to a number of health insurance stocks which dropped 2-3%.

National news outlets, bloggers, and pundits alike have produced stories on this historic supreme court ruling. Here is a look at the top five Google News search results from the query Individual Mandate:

Fox News: Individual mandate upheld: What does that mean for you and your health?
MSNBC: SCOTUS upholds individual mandate
Politico: Heath care ruling: Individual mandate upheld by Supreme Court
Washington Post (blog): Individual mandate upheld as tax: Supreme Court updates
Washington Post: Supreme Court upholds heath-care law, individual mandate

Here are the top five results from Yahoo! News on the same query:

Yahoo! News: Supreme Court upholds Obamacare individual mandate as a tax
ABC OTUS News: Obama in 2009: The individual Mandate is Not a Tax
National Constitution Center: Is the individual mandate overrated?
Yahoo! News: Obama rejects characterizing insurance mandate as a tax in 2009
ABC OTUS News: Supreme Court Heath Care Ruling: The Mandate Can Stay

Here are the top five results from Bing on the same query:

Washington Post: Individual mandate upheld as tax: Supreme Court updates
ABC News: Supreme Court upholds Obamacare individual mandate as a tax
Chicago Sun-Times: Obamacare individual mandate ruled constitutional by Roberts’ Supreme Court
Washington Post: Supreme Court upholds Obama’s health-care law
Washington Post: How does the individual mandate work?

    Sterling Morris

    Sterling Morris is a co-founder at PoliticIt. He enjoys studying economics, politics, and reading in his spare time. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn

    PoliticIt provides campaign software for politicians and special interest groups. The software provides voter/donor micro-targeting in social networks, social media management, daily It Scores, competitor tracking, and digital influence tools. To sign up for your free trial please visit us at

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    1. Interesting data, here. Yes, Obama’s It Score and Intrade price may have gone up recently, but I’m not entirely convinced this is the best thing for America. The “individual mandate” portion of the law does not fall under Congress’s power to “”regulate commerce,” as enumerated by Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution!

    2. I think that it is great! More young people entering the insurance pool will reduce the risk faced by the insurance companies resulting in more affordable care!

      @Jake apparently it is constitutional :-)

      • Karina, I agree that health care could potential make health care cheaper, but what is essentially happening in this scenario is that young people and healthy people who proactively take care of themselves will be required to supplement the health care costs of others — many of whom are unhealthy as a result of lifestyle choices rather than as a result of genetic inheritance. This forced supplementation is certainly a tax on Americans and reduces our individual liberty. Congress has no right to require us to purchase something.

      • @Jake
        Based on the laws that require medical care be provided when life or limb are in jeopardy regardless of ability to pay, going uninsured DOES put the general public at risk. The poor receive healthcare through entitlement programs that are less than the cost of delivery of those services. Insurance companies negotiate “allowed amounts” with providers that are a fraction of the provider’s standard charge–often less than half the provider’s standard rate. This means the uninsured middle class gets stuck paying taxes for the poor and inflated rates for their own coverage-a double whammy. While in an ideal world this SHOULD be your choice to risk, the reality is that any major medical issue or accident leads an otherwise middle-class person to bankruptcy, which in turn means our entitlement programs grow. An ugly, vicious cycle and a true burden on the remaining folks in the middle class who then get to pick up the tab.

    3. I’m glad that we are one step closer to insurance for everyone. One more victory over the crazy right wing nut jobs who have zero interest in helping the poor and needy. Great job Supreme Court and Barack Obama!

    4. How’s that health care working out for all y’all? Wait till you see the rate increases in the fall! My insurance is going up $1500 A MONTH!! It’s now more than my house payment.

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