By a narrow margin, the United States Supreme Court voted Thursday that most of the provisions of the health care overhaul commonly known as "Obamacare" are constitutionally sound.
In a 5-to-4-majority vote, with typically conservative Chief Justice John Roberts being the swing vote, the court upheld that the government can force people to buy health insurance if it isn't provided to them by an employer or government program through Congress' power to tax.
By 2014, all Americans must have bought health care coverage or they will be subjected to a "shared responsibility payment," meaning they pay a penalty to the Internal Revenue Service if they don't buy coverage, which was a primary point of contention with the law among its detractors.
The law, officially known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was enacted by the US Congress in 2010 in an attempt to increase the number of people in the country with healthcare and to make it more affordable.
The fight along party lines in regards to this law have been extensive since it was first brought up in Congress, and some local Republicans still think it is a bad law despite the court's ruling.
"If you really look at it, it's a tax," said Executive Director of the Centre County GOP Deb Flavin. "The idea of a mandate means the federal government is getting in the middle of really personal decisions."
Since the Supreme Court rendered its decision, Flavin said people have been calling and coming into her office in droves, wanting to help out with any local Republican campaigns.
Flavin said she thinks this decision has awoken a "sleeping giant" with people displeased with President Barack Obama and Democrats.
She said the primary concern of the law is that if employers know that people are required to pay for coverage themselves, they may drop their employees from their coverage.
Greg Stewart, who is the chairman of Centre County Democratic Committee and a member of Pennsylvania Democratic Party executive committee, said that the new health care overhaul will not only help people who couldn't pay for healthcare before, but also help people who did have healthcare by lowering premiums.
"Before if you were hurt and you didn't have coverage, a hospital would take you in but people that did pay for health care would have to pay for their coverage with higher premiums," Stewart said.
Stewart said that the law serves students by allowing them to remain on their parents' coverage until they are 26. Stewart said it allows people who are furthering their careers but not with an employer that pays for coverage, such as graduate students, interns and young entrepreneurs, to continue with their lives without having to worry automatically about whether they will be covered when they get sick.
However, Jordan Harris, Chair of the Penn State College Republicans, said while the law may have short-term benefits for students, it will hurt them in the long run.
Harris said that by the time a lot of young people hit the age of 26 and will have to pay for their own coverage, healthcare costs will be high and people will struggle to pay for coverage.
"Our last hope to repeal this law will be to elect a new Pennsylvania senator and a new president in November," Harris said.
Harris said the key to a Republican win in November is getting Republicans to the polls, which he said would be easier now because the health care overhaul has gotten Republicans excited for change.
Harris also said local Republicans need to get out and help with knocking on doors and getting people registered, which he said Republicans will also be more inclined to do now.
"[Mitt] Romney has not excited many people," Harris said. "But people today are ready to work."
Stewart also said that the decision will reenergize some of the early Obama supporters and that the only way to move forward with the health care legislation is to reelect Obama.
Penn State College Democrats President Drew McGehrin said that the Supreme Court announcement made the day a historic day and that the healthcare overhaul being deemed constitutional is not just a political win.
McGehrin said that while people may still be arguing about whether they think the law is good for the country or not, at the end of the day it is considered constitutional.