Supreme Court Likely to Uphold Affordable Care Act

The U.S. Supreme Court appears likely to leave the majority of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in place. Two conservative members of the court – Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump appointee Justice Brett Kavanaugh – made statements that suggested they’re unlikely to follow the urging of Republican attorneys to throw out the law.

The Trump administration and a handful of Republican-led states have argued that the entire ACA became invalidated when Congress removed the penalty for not carrying insurance in 2017.

“I think it’s hard for you to argue that Congress intended the entire act to fall if the mandate was struck down when the same Congress that lowered the penalty to zero did not even try to repeal the rest of the act,” Roberts said.

“It does seem fairly clear that the proper remedy would be to sever the mandate and leave the rest of the law in place,” Kavanaugh said.

The vote of the two conservative justices along with the three remaining liberal justices would be enough to prevent the ACA from being overturned. In addition, several justices have questioned whether Texas, the state leading the Republican case, has the legal standing to argue the case in the first place.

Should the Supreme Court rule the ACA unconstitutional, roughly 20 million Americans could lose their health care coverage, as COVID-19 continues to ravage the nation. This is the second time the law has been challenged in front of the Supreme Court. In 2012 Roberts was the key vote in a 5-4 decision upholding the law’s individual coverage mandate.


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