The Supreme Court has voted to uphold the individual mandate in President Obama's signature and controversial health care law.

So what does that mean?

Americans will have to buy health insurance or pay a penalty tax of up to several thousand dollars a year.

According to ABC News, there are a few provisions that will also stay in effect:

  • Children can use their parents' insurance plan up to age 26
  • Medicare subscribers can get free mammograms
  • Those with pre-existing conditions can get health insurance
  • Insurance companies can't deny you coverage even if you get sick or make a mistake on your health insurance application

The Court ruled 5-4 that the mandate is unconstitutional, but can stay because it is being categorized as a tax.

Chief Justice John Roberts addressed this in his opinion accompanying the vote, saying,

Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness."

The mandate will be not be implemented for another 18 months.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has said he does not agree with Obama's health care law.

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