The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a previous ruling that most Americans can be required to purchase health insurance starting in 2014 or else pay a tax.
The landmark 2010 healthcare law included a so-called "individual mandate" requiring Americans to purchase insurance.
"The Affordable Care Act's requirement that certain individuals pay a financial penalty for not obtaining health insurance may reasonably be characterized as a tax," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority in the court's opinion.
"Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness," he said.
The decision passed by a 5 to 4 vote.
The U.S. Supreme Court building. Photo: Tim Stackton/Flickr