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U.S. Supreme Court Grants President Obama Victory in Health Care Law

The U.S. Supreme court on Thursday handed President Barack Obama a major victory, upholding the key part of his controversial health care plan in a 5-4 decision.

The complex decision is a major legal boost for Mr. Obama just months before he faces voters in a battle for re-election.

It also complicates matters for Republicans on the Capitol Hill. The lawmakers had put faith in the courts after their repeated efforts to repeal President Obama's signature law fell short in congress.

The ruling allows Mr. Obama to continue pushing the law ahead of its full implementation in 2014 and will likely amp up pressure on a number of states that had been awaiting the court decision before plowing ahead with state requirements.

Twenty-six states filed suit against the reform law, contending that individuals cannot be forced to buy insurance, a product they may neither want nor need.

The law has also become one of the most hotly contested issues in the 2012 presidential race.

Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has vowed to repeal the health care law if he is elected in November.

President Obama said he’s pleased the law has been upheld by the highest court on the land.

U.S-based medical practitioner Dr. Simba Parirenyatwa told VOA the ruling will negatively affect individuals who will now be forced to buy private insurance or risk being fined.

Chairman Douglas Gwatidzo of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights says Africa, Zimbabwe in particular, can learn from the U.S. ruling as it prioritizes the well being of its citizens.

Former permanent secretary in Zimbabwe’s health ministry Dr. Godfrey Sikipa, principal technical adviser for HIV and Aids in Washington DC, supports the Supreme Court ruling.

He says this should offer a blue print for developing nations seeking to improve access to health care for all their citizens.