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Supreme Court upholds key part of Obama health law

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Albany/HV: Supreme Court upholds key part of Obama health law
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WASHINGTON -- In a 193-page decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the individual mandate portion of President Obama's healthcare law.

It was a 5-4 opinion, and in a surprise move, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the four liberal members of the bench.

The law's individual mandate was the crux of the argument - whether it would be constitutional to force Americans to buy healthcare coverage by 2014.

While the bill is 18 months shy of fully going into effect, many provisions are now active, such as free wellness exams for seniors and allowing children up to age 26 to remain on their parents' health insurance policies.

This law was designed to extend health coverage to some 32 million uninsured people, ban insurers from discriminating against those with expensive ailments, and require nearly all Americans to buy insurance or pay penalties.

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