The Supreme Court ruled today that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was a valid exercise of Congress’s power to tax. The decision was 5-4, with Chief Justice Roberts joining Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan. Apart from determining that HHS cannot withdraw existing Medicaid funds from states that do not comply with the Act’s Medicaid expansion provisions, the entire law was upheld. This decision clears the way for the individual mandate to become effective January 1, 2014, and it ensures that the remaining provisions of health care reform (such as no lifetime limits on essential health benefits and covering adult children to age 26) will become (or remain) law.

A copy of the decision is available here.