The U.S. Supreme Court narrowly upheld a federal requirement Thurday that every U.S. citizen must buy health insurance within two years, or pay a fine.
The so-called "individual mandate" is part of the sweeping national health care reform Congress passed two years ago, often referred to as "Obamacare."
The Supreme Court vote was 5-4 to uphold the individual mandate that requires Americans to have health insurance or pay a financial penalty.
Justices made a variety of arguments on the sweeping bill, pro and con.
They agreed that the government has the power to tax, as well as the power to regulate commerce, but not the power to force people to participate in commerce by buying a particular product.
But five justices said the individual mandate is okay under the Constitution, because the financial penalty is just like a tax. It is even paid to the Internal Revenue Service.
Beginning in 2014, for individuals, the penalty for not having health insurance starts at $95 a year, or up to 1 percent of income, whichever is greater, and rise to $695 a year, or 2.5 percent of income, by 2016.
Both of Nebraska's U.S. Senate candidates say the controversy is far from over, and more legislation will be needed.
Republican Deb Fischer supports full repeal of the health care reform, and said she would work across party lines to implement "free market reforms that will lower healthcare costs and improve accessibility."
“Now that the court spectacle is over," Kerrey said, "it's time for Republicans and Democrats to put partisan politics aside and get down to business to find true cost containment solutions before we bankrupt the country."
Kerrey said he would work with Republicans to find "common sense solutions, beginning with establishing state-based exchanges and supporting exciting initiatives by providers to lower costs and improve quality.”
For an easy-to-digest guide to the health care reform, click HERE.