We have been devoting this hour of MORNING EDITION to the Supreme Court's decision upholding President Obama's signature health care law that came through less than two hours ago. Within minutes of the court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act, health care related stocks swung up and then down.
There was a lot of speculation about how the Supreme Court would decide, but almost every prognostication was wrong: from who the swing vote would be (it was Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the opinion), to what the basis for the opinion would be (it wasn't the Commerce Clause).
The law was upheld thanks to Chief Justice John Roberts, who sided with the court's more liberal wing, on a very narrow grounds: Instead of saying Congress has the authority to regulate interstate commerce, they said Congress has the authority to levy taxes. And the penalty for people who do not have health care is a tax and therefore constitutional.