Supreme Court Leaves Affordable Care Act Intact

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The law was Democratic former President Barack Obama's signature domestic policy achievement. The Court ruled that Texas and the others lacked standing to challenge the ACA under any appropriate theory of law.

What they're saying: "After more than a decade of attacks on the Affordable Care Act through the Congress and the courts, today's decision - the third major challenge to the law that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected - it is time move forward and keep building on this landmark law", Biden said in a statement. The late Justice Antonin Scalia as well as Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

The justices did not decide broader legal questions raised in the case about whether a key Obamacare provision was unconstitutional and, if so, whether the rest of the statute should be struck down.

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".

The 7-2 ruling leaves the Obama-era healthcare law intact and preserves healthcare coverage for millions of Americans.

"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. As a result of zeroing out of the penalty, Texas and a group of other states-in addition to two men who did not want to purchase health insurance- argued that the mandate was unconstitutional because it could no longer be construed as a tax.

The ruling came in a lawsuit by Texas and 17 other Republican-governed states and later joined by Trump's administration.

In another case in 2012, NFIB vs. Sebelius, the court narrowly upheld the law by a 5-4 margin and found that the individual mandate was a tax and that states could not forcibly be required to expand Medicaid.

Trump's appointees - Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh - split their votes.

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Biden's administration in February urged the Supreme Court to uphold Obamacare, reversing the position taken by the government under Trump, who left office in January.

If Obamacare had been struck down, up to 20 million Americans stood to lose their medical insurance and insurers could have once again refused to cover people with pre-existing medical conditions. 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".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, called the ruling a "victory for Democrats' work to defend protections for people with pre-existing conditions against Republicans' relentless efforts to dismantle them".

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton pledged to continue the fight against "Obamacare", which he called a "massive government takeover of health care".

The closest Republicans got was in the summer of 2017, when they controlled both the House and the Senate and had President Donald Trump in the White House. Opposition to Obamacare seems to have receded as a political issue for many Republicans as their party has emphasised other matters such as immigration, voting restrictions and hot-button "culture war" issues. Justice Stephen Breyer noted that the individual mandate was effectively unenforceable without an attached penalty and therefore did not cause harm.

Opponents of the Affordable Care Act argued that because the penalty is now $0, the provision in the law that requires everyone to buy insurance is no longer valid.

The court ruled 6-3 to strike down a challenge in 2015 in the case King v. Burwell that could have gotten rid of the law's income-based subsidies to lower the cost of insurance.

The plaintiffs hoped to convince the Court that the entire ACA must be invalidated because, in their view, the individual mandate is unconstitutional.

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