WASHINGTON – A divided U.S. Supreme Court today upheld a President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

WASHINGTON – A divided U.S. Supreme Court today upheld a President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the more liberal members of the nation’s highest court in the 5-4 finding.

The key conclusion the majority reached was that the individual mandate is in essence a tax that Congress has a constitutional right to impose.

“Congress had the power to impose the (individual mandate) under the taxing power, and that (individual mandate) need not be read to do more than impose a tax. That is sufficient to sustain it,” the majority wrote.

The decision did nothing to end the heated political debate that has surrounded the law since it was enacted. Opponents said that they would continue to seek repeal of the individual mandate, saying it is an onerous tax.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, issued separate statements on the decision saying that they would seek repeal of the law.

“Today’s decision makes one thing clear: Congress must act to repeal this misguided law,” McConnell said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., cheered the decision as a victory for American people.

Justices Roberts, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan were in the majority. Justices Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

The decision seemed to catch Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, off guard. His office sent out, and then recalled, a press statement that suggested the court had ruled the health care law unconstitutional.

He sent a revised statement later saying that the ruling “does nothing to change the fact that President Obama’s healthcare mandagte is not working for Arkansas.”

Crawford said he would push for full repeal