Affordable Care Act survives third Supreme Court challenge, as case from Trump administration and GOP-led states is rejected
The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, saying Republican-led states do not have the legal standing to try to upend the law.
Justice Stephen G. Breyer wrote the court’s 7 to 2 decision that preserves the law that provides millions of Americans with health coverage.
Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Neil M Gorsuch dissented.
The decision meant the attempt to derail President Barack Obama’s landmark domestic achievement met the fate of past legal challenges, in 2012 and 2015.
The key issue this time was whether a 2017 decision by Congress to remove the penalty for not buying health insurance — the so-called individual mandate — meant that the law was unconstitutional and should be wiped from the books.
That would end popular provisions such as keeping young adults on their parents’ insurance policies, and ensuring coverage for those with preexisting medical conditions.
But the court said the states did not have the legal standing to bring the challenge.
President Biden, in contrast to former president Donald Trump, has said he plans to build on the program to offer more Americans health care coverage.
The red-state challenge came to the Supreme Court at an inopportune time — endangering the health-care coverage of more than 20 million Americans during the country’s gravest health crisis in a century.
Even congressional Republicans who have targeted Obamacare in the past distanced themselves from the suit brought by the Republican state attorneys general and joined by the previous administration.
The case posed three questions: Do the challengers have legal standing to bring the challenge? Did changes made by Congress in 2017 render unconstitutional the ACA’s requirement for individuals to buy insurance? And if so, can the rest of the law be separated out, or must it fall in its entirety?
“We do not reach these questions of the Act’s validity, however, for Texas and the other plaintiffs in this suit lack the standing necessary to raise them,” Breyer wrote.
The cases are California v. Texas and Texas v. California.
Essentially, the R’s on the court, especially Roberts, found the case not to be compelling. The merits of the law, which is what was being argued by the plantiff, was not in consideration. It was more if the commerce clause still holds, and in this case it does. ACA lives to fight another day, but there will be more challenges in the future.
From Justice Breyer:
[W]e conclude that the plaintiffs in this suit failed to show a concrete, particularized injury fairly traceable to the defendants’ conduct in enforcing the specific statutory provision they attack as unconstitutional.”
and from Justice Thomas:
Although this Court has erred twice before in cases involving the Affordable Care Act, it does not err today.”
More news, perspectives, etc in the comments. Sure Happy It’s Thursday.