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As Dems celebrate SCOTUS decision, Republicans vow to repeal

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The controversial legislation that has, so far, defined the Obama presidency survives scrutiny by the Supreme Court. For months, there was speculation over whether the court would uphold the whole law, toss out the entire thing, or just do away with the individual mandate. We know now that the Affordable Care Act will remain on the books. This week, "Capital Tonight" was dedicated to the landmark decision.

In a landmark 5-to-4 decision Thursday, the court upheld President Obama’s health care bill, dismaying critics who mobbed the courthouse steps, while delighting supporters. Regarding the so-called individual mandate, which requires that all Americans buy insurance or face a tax penalty, the court found it constitutional under the taxing power of the federal government, even if it violates the Constitution’s commerce clause.

Obama, in a 7-minute speech, touted the bill’s benefits.

“It should be pretty clear by now that I didn’t do this because it was good politics," The president said. "I did it because I believed it was good for the country.”

Republicans, meanwhile, dug in their heels. House Speaker John Boehner said the decision underscores the "urgency" to repeal the law.

While the Court did narrowly uphold Obama's landmark legislation, it did place some restrictions on the law's Medicaid provision. The decision made some say next session, Texas lawmakers may have to consider how the state would opt out of the Medicaid expansion component. And, others celebrated. Texans for Obama me at the Victory Grill in East Austin to proclaim victory.

Texas Senator John Cornyn said the bill is a cry for Republicans to defeat the president in November.

“I think this will be a referendum on an overreach and that particularly of this administration,” Cornyn said.

Texas Republican leaders see a way out of complying with at least one component of the Affordable Care Act. The U-S Supreme Court ruled Thursday states could not be at risk of losing Medicaid funding if they chose to opt out of expanding the Medicaid program to cover those living below the poverty line.

"Opting out to slow the projected growth of Medicaid is something the Legislature may have to consider once we’ve had time to further assess this decision,” State Comptroller Susan Combs said in a statement.

Robert Wood with the Texas Association of Business is among those who believes the state should act if Congress fails to repeal so-called Obamacare.

“It’s going to cost all of us way too much money which will damage the economy and cost jobs,” Wood said. “Most of the businesses that provide a benefit today are probably doing as much or more than what the law would require.”

Anne Dunkelberg at the Center for Public Policy Priorities says just 8 percent of all Texas businesses subject to the law do not currently offer healthcare benefits. The federal government will pick up the tab for the first few years the law is in effect. Even after that ends Dunkelberg believes it will be more cost effective for the state to "stay in"and keep the roughly "million and a half" Texans covered.

“[It's a] much better deal for us to go ahead and cover those folks than it would be to leave them uninsured than pay for them through our local property tax dollars at our local public hospitals,” Dunkelberg said.

You can watch both of these stories from Capital Tonight's Bobby Cuza and Alana Rocha below.

Attorney General Greg Abbott has lead the fight against Washington here in Texas. Texas was among the states suing the federal government over the law. Abbott joined us from our Washington Bureau.

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Needless to say, our Capital Commentators Harold Cook and Ted Delisi disagreed over the Supreme Court's decision.

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As news of the decision spread online and on TV, Twitter was buzzing with passionate voices and many inaccuracies. Our Jennifer Borget took a look at how the decision was seen in the Twitterverse.

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As Democrats celebrated the Supreme Court's decision, Texans for Obama threw a party. Capital Tonight's Alana Rocha joined us with Austin Representative Dawnna Dukes to hear how the decision will help the president's campaign.

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Sherri Greenberg, Director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School at the University of Texas joined us to give her analysis.

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The Supreme Court decision was not the only major headline out of Washington on Thursday. The U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt. We spoke to our Political Analyst Harvey Kronberg about the contempt vote and the SCOTUS decision.

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Gail Collins of the New York Times recently wrote a book about how Texas politics impact the U.S. as a whole. She joined us to discuss her book "As Texas Goes..."

TWC News: As Dems celebrate SCOTUS decision, Republicans vow to repeal
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