Although he saved 'Obamacare' by essentially decreeing the individual mandate a tax, Chief Justice John Roberts embraced the general conservative view that forcing people to engage in an activity against their will is problematic.
"Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority," he wrote.
Roberts' decision places significant limits on the Commerce Clause in the future.
From his 5-4 majority opinion:
As expansive as our cases construing the scope of the commerce power have been, they all have one thing in com- mon: They uniformly describe the power as reaching “activity.”
The individual mandate, however, does not regulate existing commercial activity. It instead compels individuals to become active in commerce by purchasing a product, on the ground that their failure to do so affects interstate commerce. Construing the Commerce Clause to permit Congress to regulate individuals precisely because they are doing nothing would open a new and potentially vast domain to congressional authority. Every day individuals do not do an infinite number of things. In some cases they decide not to do something; in others they simply fail to do it. Allowing Congress to justify federal regulation by pointing to the effect of inaction on commerce would bring countless decisions an individual could potentially make within the scope of federal regulation, and—under the Government’s theory—empower Congress to make those decisions for him.