The Supreme Court of the US rejected the Trump-backed challenge by the Republican-led States to the Obamacare of former President Barack Obama. Despite the conservative tilt of the court, nine justices ruled by 7-2 stated that the challengers did not have any legal standing to sue. Since 2010, it is the third time that ACA or Affordable Care Act, named Obamacare, has survived a challenge. Obamacare made medical insurance accessible to millions of low-income Americans. It bans insurers from refusing coverage due to pre-existing conditions.
The ruling on June 17 did not address the question that the key provision in the law was unconstitutional or not. Texas and 17 other Republican-led states backed by Donald Trump have done the legal challenge as Donald Trump promised to repeal the act after his election in 2016. Republicans immensely tried but failed to cancel the law in Congress at the time when they controlled both houses. Earlier in June 2021, the White House told a record that around 31 million Americans got covered by the healthcare under ACA.
The Decision of the Supreme Court
The ruling of June 17 left in place a requirement of Obamacare known as the individual mandate. According to this provision, people have to purchase health insurance or have to face a tax penalty. But this provision no longer contains a penalty as in 2017, Republican-led Congress reduced the fine to $0. The Republican states involved in the lawsuit argued that the law now has become unconstitutional as the penalty was eliminated. Stephen Breyer, the senior-most liberal justice, wrote the majority opinion. He wrote that the matter is not technical, and it would threaten to allocate unelected judges a general authority to conduct decision mistakes of the elected branches of Government.
Samuel Alito, a Conservative Justice, dissented from the majority along with Neil Gorsuch, an appointee of Mr. Trump. Mr. Alito wrote that nobody could fail to get impressed by the extreme length the Court has gone for defending the ACA against all threats.
President Joe Biden applauded the decision in a statement by calling the ruling a big victory for all Americans getting advantage of the law. It is time to go ahead and keep building on this landmark healthcare law. Former President Obama gave a statement that the ruling affirmed that his signature legislation is here to stay.