In a filing submitted late Thursday evening, the Trump Administration asked the Supreme Court to end the Affordable Care Act (ACA)/Obamacare.
The request comes amid a surge of COVID-19 cases affecting a population that cannot afford to see a doctor.
Up to 27 million Americans have lost health coverage due to COVID-19 layoffs. According to government reports, roughly 487,000 Americans signed up with HelathCare.gov this year after losing workplace coverage (an increase of 46% compared to last year). This figure does not include sign-ups from states like New York and California that run their own marketplaces.
From personal experience, I know that using Obamacare to extend a basic healthcare package will cost upwards of $400 a month and will likely force you to change doctors. This happened to me after I had waited three months for a scheduled surgery with my former doctor.
As expected, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted the Supreme Court filing, describing Trump’s appeal as “an act of unfathomable cruelty” and “beyond stupid.”
“There is no legal justification and no moral excuse for the Trump Administration’s disastrous efforts to take away Americans’ healthcare,” said Pelosi, who is planning a floor vote next week on her own proposal to expand Obamacare.
Pelosi’s proposal seeks to boost federal subsides, limit monthly premiums to 8.5% of participants’ income, expand eligibility by reducing the income cap, and encourage more states to expand Medicaid by covering 100% of the cost for the first three years. In other words, the proposal puts more control over Americans’ healthcare in the hands of the government and increases the deficit.
With support from 18 GOP-led states, the Trump Administration’s case argues that the ACA’s requirement that all Americans buy insurance is no longer valid after Congress removed the penalty for non-compliance in 2017.
If the individual mandate is invalidated, then it naturally follows that the rest of the ACA must end, argues Solicitor General Noel Francisco: “The entire ACA thus must fall with the individual mandate, though the scope of relief entered in this case should be limited to provisions shown to injure the plaintiffs.”
President Trump has repeatedly promised that people with preexisting conditions will be covered if the ACA is overturned.
Author’s Note: If SCOTUS finally decides to end Obamacare, maybe it will allow lawmakers to focus on the real problems with our healthcare system: namely, the lack of transparency and lack of competition.
SCOTUS will hear the case sometime next term, potentially after the presidential election.