In the week since the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling upholding key parts of President Obama’s health care law (“Obamacare”) – namely, the individual mandate that everyone buy insurance –  Americans have been inundated by an endless deluge of analysis and commentary. Making sense of it all is challenging, so here are 10 good resources that help connect the dots.

1. SCOTUS Blog’s straightforward, objective analysis of the decision (including this one paragraph explanation):

“The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.”

2. Kaiser Family Foundation’s interactive timeline of the law’s implementation (what goes into effect when)

3. The NY Times’ interactive on how the health care law could affect you

4. Huffington Post’s slideshow of major impacts the law will have on young adults and college students

5. The NY Times’ series of multimedia resources on the law and the ruling, including an interactive timeline of health care reform efforts

6. Kaiser Family Foundation’s animated explainer on the health care law (narrated by Cokie Roberts)

7. ABC News’ good, brief report on the decision

8. PBS Newshour’s slightly lengthier analysis

9. Epipheo’s great short animated explainer on the decision

10. NPR’s answers to common questions about the law





10 Resources To Help Make Sense of the Health Care Decision 14 January,2014Matthew Green


Matthew Green

Matthew Green produces and edits The Lowdown, KQED’s multimedia news education blog, an online resource for educators and the general public. He previously taught journalism at Fremont High School in East Oakland, and has written for numerous local publications, including the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. Email:; Twitter: @MGreenKQED

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