Supreme Court rejects challenge to Obamacare health care law

Supreme Court upholds Affordable Care Act, keeping Obamacare in place

The ruling keeps health care in place for millions of Americans, including the more than 3.5 million people who signed up for insurance provided through the Affordable Care Act during a special enrollment period earlier this year.

The case at hand, California v. Texas, began in 2018 after the ACA's individual mandate penalty was reduced to $0 following the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

The law was the signature domestic policy achievement of Democratic former President Barack Obama, who Mr Biden served with as vice president.

Texas marks the third time the court heard a significant challenge to the Affordable Care Act, although the stakes were heightened given the implications of Covid-19, the catastrophic deaths and the current burdens facing the health care industry.

President Biden called Thursday's decision by the Supreme Court to throw out a Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act a "major victory for all Americans benefitting from this groundbreaking and life-changing law". The decision was authored by liberal Justice Stephen Breyer.

"Yet", he added, "seven justices chose to avoid the question of the constitutionality by limiting its decision to a ruling on standing".

The provision, called the "individual mandate", required Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a financial penalty. The decision to toss the suit preserves the landmark healthcare law and access to health plans for millions of Americans.

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Republicans contend the rules only make it tougher to vote fraudulently. He also affirmed that he opposes changing the filibuster. Appearing on CNN's New Day Monday, Rep.

The big picture: The makeup of the court became much more conservative during the Trump presidency, thanks in part to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refusing to give Obama nominee Merrick Garland a vote in 2016. The plaintiffs questioned the legality of the 11-year old law enacted to make coverage available to millions of the uninsured, after Congress zeroed out the penalty for violating the act's mandate that individuals have insurance. For the states involved in the lawsuit, the harm raised by states of the individual mandate's role in their residents enrolling in state programs like Medicaid, was not proven. The states argued that the law left the mandate unconstitutional because it is a tax with no penalty. But more than 20 million Americans now depend on it for their health insurance.

Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were the two dissenting votes.

At her weekly press conference on Capitol Hill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also applauded the "historic decision" before slamming Republicans for being on the wrong side of history, she said, for supporting the lawsuit challenging the individual mandate.

The Supreme Court in 2012 and 2015 also fended off previous Republican challenges to Obamacare.

On Thursday, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett - both appointed by former President Trump - joined the Chief Justice, as well as Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Thomas, and Breyer, in upholding the ACA.

Biden's administration in February urged the Supreme Court to uphold Obamacare, reversing the position taken by the government under Trump, who left office in January.

The ACA has been the law of the land since 2011 and covers almost 20 million people. Biden and other Democrats had criticised Republican efforts to strike down the law at a time when the United States was grappling with a deadly coronavirus pandemic. The Trump administration did take steps to hobble the law. Opposition to Obamacare seems to have receded as a political issue for many Republicans as their party has emphasised other matters such as immigration, voting restrictions and hot-button "culture war" issues. In a 2017 law review article, she said the Roberts opinion "pushed the Affordable Care Act beyond its plausible meaning to save the statue". On today's podcast, David and Sarah discuss two unexpected majorities in California v. Texas, which upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare (again!), and Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which unanimously protected the religious liberty of Catholic Social Services after the city of Philadelphia excluded CSS from its foster parent program for refusing to certify same-sex couples as foster parents.

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