SCOTUS to Hear Obamacare Challenge
The Supreme Court has agreed to review a lower court’s opinion on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The Supreme Court in 2015 upheld the constitutionality of the ACA based on the individual mandate, a provision that forced most Americans to purchase health insurance or pay a tax. At the time, Chief Justice John Roberts upheld the individual mandate because it fell within Congress’ power to tax.
When the Trump Administration eliminated that tax in 2017, Republicans claimed there was no longer a legal basis for the individual mandate. The following year, Texas and 17 other Republican-led states filed a lawsuit which argued that the entire law was unconstitutional.
Last December, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional but sent the case back to Texas to decide if other parts of the law could stand without the individual mandate.
Fearing the case would drag on for years, California and 19 other Democratic-led states asked the Supreme Court to review the 5th Circuit’s ruling. SCOTUS has upheld the ACA twice in the past, but not since the addition of conservative justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh.
The High Court is expected to announce its decision by next summer, meaning Obamacare will once again be an election issue for candidates.
As predicted, Democrats are claiming that President Trump wants to remove the ACA’s protections for children and for patients with pre-existing conditions.
“Our health is the most precious resource we have – we should all be working to improve healthcare, instead of ripping coverage away from those most in need,” argues California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “As Texas and the Trump Administration fight to distort our healthcare system and the coverage that millions of people rely on, we look forward to making our case in defense of the ACA. American lives depend upon it.”