The SCOTUS actions were unconstitutional when they arrived at a 5-4 decision in favor of passing the Affordable Care Act.
SCOTUS is charged with determining whether the intent of legislation placed before them is constitutional. That is not what happened.
President Obama, supporting members of Congress, and the attorneys presenting the case, repeatedly argued that the defined wording within the act was for a "penalty" and not a "tax". All of SCOTUS rightly found the use of the term "penalty", which was the intent of the act, unconstitutional. That finding is where the court should have stopped. To go beyond that specified determination and ruling on anything other than original intent was unconstitutional.
From SCOTUS Dissenting Opinions:
“The Court today decides to save a statute Congress did not write. It rules that what the statute declares to be a requirement with a penalty is instead an option subject to a tax. And it changes the intentionally coercive sanction of a total cut-off of Medicaid funds to a supposedly noncoercive cut-off of only the incremental funds that the Act makes available.
The Court regards its strained statutory interpretation as judicial modesty. It is not. It amounts instead to a vast judicial overreaching.”
The five supporting Justices stepped beyond their Constitutional purpose by going further.
Perhaps those five favoring Justices allowed themselves to be unduly influenced by political demands to cross that line.
However, when they did cross that line, they effectively put the Act in limbo because Congress did not vote on a new tax.
One can only hope the Justices' desire was to show the President and Congress how ludicrous the ACA was in the first place.
It is unconstitutional to force a penalty on citizens using the Commerce clause for not buying something against their will.
Instead POTUS offered a solution to passage of the act, by magically changing the word "penalty" to the word "tax". Of course, the President and his supporters immediately jumped on this opportunity to “save” the act, but continue to refuse to call it a tax.
You would think, the President, whose expertise is supposed to be Constitutional law, would have at least taken a moment’s pause before cheering a victory.
Per the Constitution, legislation on taxes must be passed by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. This act was not passed using the word "tax", it was passed using the word "penalty".
As a tax, this would be the largest tax imposed on the American people in the entire history of our nation. It targets the middle and lower income citizens; the very people who cannot afford to purchase even minimal insurance coverage in the first place and who the act was supposed to help.