Obamacare survived another attempt at dismantling a lifeline for 31 million Americans when the Supreme Court dismissed the case brought by the former Trump administration and GOP-led states on June 17, 2021. The ACA challengers urged the justices to block the law in its entirety.
Today’s 7-2 decision was written by Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito dissented.
In their ruling, the Justices found that the opponents suffered no harm from the provision they challenged as Congress “reduced the penalty for not buying health coverage to zero.”
Based on this information, they concluded the plaintiffs failed to show a concrete, particularized injury fairly traceable to the defendants’ conduct in enforcing the specific statutory provision they attack is unconstitutional.”
The challengers failed to convince the Supreme Court Justices they were victims of the aggrieved minimum essential coverage provision.
President Joe Biden tweeted his pleasure at the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the challengers’ petition, saying the ACA is a BFD. CNN noted his tweet referenced his hot mic comment in 2010 telling then-President Barack Obama the law was a “big f–king deal.”
Naturally, the thread of responses was mixed for and against Obamacare, with some chiming in with complaints about the high cost of premiums. @LALewman’s tweet reads:
Imagine how much better off the country would be right now if Republicans had put in as much time and effort into fighting the Covid crisis as they’ve put into getting rid of Obamacare. #AffordableCareAct #DemVoice1.
This is the third time a Republican-led petition has come before the Supreme Court. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is passionate about his legal challenge against the Act, and other Obama-era policies using the courts took to Twitter vowing to fight. He wrote:
If the government is allowed to mislead its citizens, pass a massive government takeover of healthcare, and yet still survive after Supreme Court review, this spell doom for the principles of Federalism and limited government.
The Republican standard rebuttal in their fight against big government is the loss of Federalism. They refer to the ACA as socialized healthcare.
What they seem to miss are the people who need the Affordable Care Act. Do they not hear the families who worry every time the Supreme Court is set to hear a case against their ability to see a doctor?
A meme on the Twitter thread that clearly defines the divide between the GOP elite and those who defend the ACA reads: “A conservative says, ‘it hasn’t happened to me, so, I don’t care.’ A liberal says, ‘it should never happen to anyone, and that’s why I care.'”
A record number of Americans depend on their health coverage through the ASA — 31 million. Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services report reveals 11. 2 million individuals are enrolled in the ACA exchanges as of mid-February. Another 14.8 million low-income Americans enrolled in Medicaid as of December 2020.
Steve Vladeck, CNN Supreme Court analyst and professor at the University of Texas Law, said the Court’s findings held the GOP-led plaintiffs’ case lacked standing. He added, the justices avoided dealing with the constitutionality of Obamacare, and the decision “made it much harder for anyone to get that issue into the courts going forward.”
Conversely, Justice Alito complained, “today’s decision is the third installment in our epic Affordable Care Act trilogy, and it follows the same pattern as installments one and two.” He added the Supreme Court improbably recused the law, that no state that bears the financial burden does not have unbiased Justices willing to hear their constitutional challenge.
Emboldened by the Supreme Court’s ruling, President Biden says it is time to work on the Affordable Care Act to make it stronger. Perhaps, he read the complaints on the above-mentioned Twitter thread about the exorbitant premiums and extraordinarily high deductibles.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
CNN: Supreme Court dismisses challenge to Affordable Care Act, leaving it in place; by Arian deVogue and Chandlis Duster
The New York Times: Affordable Care Act Survives Latest Supreme Court Challenge; by Adam Liptak
The Washington Post: Supreme Court’s pro-ACA decision spurs both parties to new strategies; by Amy Goldstein, Matt Viser, and Mike DeBonis
Featured and Top Image vaXzine’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image Courtesy of Ted Eytan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License