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Merrill Goozner

For the time being, the United States' long slog toward universal health insurance coverage remains on track.

The voters could still intervene. A political earthquake in November that puts Republicans in control of the White House and both houses of Congress could overturn Obamacare, a.k.a. the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

But Chief Justice John Roberts's carefully crafted decision to uphold the reform law's individual mandate as a legitimate exercise of the federal government's taxing power affirms an important principle: The national government has the right to intervene in the economy when it serves a social purpose or solves a national problem.

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