Health Care

Supreme Court upholds Affordable Care Act, keeping Obamacare in place

Supreme Court upholds Affordable Care Act, keeping Obamacare in place”

The U.S. Supreme Court batted down a lawsuit led by several Republican states and the former Trump administration that challenged the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), upholding the law for a third time. Congress later reduced that fine to $0; Republicans then claimed that since the mandate now effectively existed only on paper, that meant nearly the entire law had to be declared null and void.

The law's major provisions include protections for people with existing health conditions, a range of no-cost preventive services, expansion of the Medicaid program that insures lower-income people and access to health insurance markets offering subsidized plans.

"Today's U.S. Supreme Court decision is a major victory for all Americans benefitting from this groundbreaking and life-changing law", President Joe Biden said in a statement. For the individual plaintiffs, as the individual mandate penalty was zeroed out, the government - notably the Internal Revenue Service - could not be connected to any harm or injury suffered by the plaintiffs.

That led the red states to argue that the tax was effectively eliminated.

Obamacare has survived two previous Supreme Court challenges - in 2012 and 2015 - and has grown in popularity among Americans over the years after a rocky start. And the fact that even some of the court's committed conservative ideologues (Clarence Thomas) and committed Republicans (Brett M. Kavanaugh) joined the majority in turning back this challenge says a lot about the state of the anti-Obamacare crusade.

Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were the two dissenting votes. The court ruled that the states lacked standing, meaning their argument did not meet the requirements to be considered by the court as a genuine constitutional issue. Significant improvements to the ACA were provided in the most recent COVID-19 relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which became law this past March.

But 20 blue states, led by California, asked the Supreme Court to overturn those lower court decisions.

The June 17 decision upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) by our nation's highest court finally puts to rest a lengthy legal challenge, largely fueled by partisan politics, over the legitimacy of this landmark legislation.

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She called on lawmakers to pass "The Health Care Choices Proposal", which would "protect Americans and improve their health care options without settling for the failures that are part of Obamacare's flawed design".

"Today's ruling reminds us that Congress needs to return to health reform", Kay C. James, the foundation's president, said in a press release.

"Democrats are in charge and they have made reinvigorating and building on the ACA a key priority", Levitt said. Every Republican in Congress voted against it.

Chief Justice John Roberts said during arguments in November that it seemed the law's foes were asking the court to do work best left to the political branches of government. The court's latest Obamacare ruling will maintain health insurance for millions who would otherwise be left out in the cold. The Trump administration agreed and urged the federal court to strike down the entire statute.

One of the reasons state leaders, such as Gov. Tate Reeves, has used for not expanding Medicaid is that there was no assurance, they claimed because of the lawsuits, that the program would remain in place. Our AMA is committed to working with Congress and the Biden administration to achieve further advancements, such as making cost-sharing help more generous and available to more people, providing a coverage pathway to residents in states that have not expanded Medicaid who qualify for neither Medicaid nor ACA marketplace coverage, and fixing the ACA's "family glitch".

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In a press release from health advocacy non-profit Families USA, Frederick Isasi, the organization's executive director, stated that "Hundreds of millions of people with preexisting conditions can sleep soundly tonight, knowing their health care protections won't be ripped away". They can not be turned down for coverage on account of health problems, or charged a higher premium.

"ObamaCare was sold on a lie to the American people".

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