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U.S. Supreme Court rejects Texas challenge to Obamacare, upholds coverage for millions

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to the Obama era health care law, preserving insurance coverage for millions of Americans.

The justices, by a 7-2 vote, left the entire law intact Thursday in ruling that Texas, other Republican-led states and two individuals had no right to bring their lawsuit in federal court.

RELATED CONTENT: Here’s what the Supreme Court’s Affordable Care Act ruling means for you

The law’s major provisions include protections for people with pre-existing health conditions, a range of no-cost preventive services and the expansion of the Medicaid program that insures lower-income people, including those who work in jobs that don’t pay much or provide health insurance.

Also left in place is the law’s now-toothless requirement that people have health insurance or pay a penalty. Congress rendered that provision irrelevant in 2017 when it reduced the penalty to zero.

The elimination of the penalty had become the hook that Texas and other Republican-led states, as well as the Trump administration, used to attack the entire law. They argued that without the mandate, a pillar of the law when it was passed in 2010, the rest of the law should fall, too.

And with a more conservative Supreme Court that includes three Trump appointees, opponents of “Obamacare” hoped a majority of the justices would finally kill off the law they have been fighting against for more than a decade.

But the third major attack on the law at the Supreme Court ended the way the first two did, with a majority of the court rebuffing efforts to gut the law or get rid of it altogether.

Trump’s three appointees to the Supreme Court — Justices Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — split their votes. Kavanaugh and Barrett joined the majority. Gorsuch was in dissent, signing on to an opinion from Justice Samuel Alito.

Justice Stephen Breyer wrote for the court that the states and people who filed a federal lawsuit “have failed to show that they have standing to attack as unconstitutional the Act’s minimum essential coverage provision.”

In dissent, Alito wrote, “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. In all three episodes, with the Affordable Care Act facing a serious threat, the Court has pulled off an improbable rescue.” Alito was a dissenter in the two earlier cases, as well.

Republicans pressed their argument to invalidate the whole law even though congressional efforts to rip out the entire law “root and branch,” in Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell’s words, have failed. The closest they came was in July 2017 when Arizona Sen. John McCain, who died the following year, delivered a dramatic thumbs-down vote to a repeal effort by fellow Republicans.

Chief Justice John Roberts said during arguments in November that it seemed the law’s foes were asking the court to do work best left to the political branches of government.

The court’s decision preserves benefits that became part of the fabric of the nation’s health care system even as Republicans repeatedly tried to rip out Obamacare — in McConnell’s words — “root and branch.”

Polls show that the 2010 health care law grew in popularity as it endured the heaviest assault. In December 2016, just before Obama left office and Trump swept in calling the ACA a “disaster,” 46% of Americans had an unfavorable view of the law, while 43% approved, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation tracking poll. Those ratings flipped and by February of this year 54% had a favorable view, while disapproval had fallen to 39% in the same ongoing poll.

The health law is now undergoing an expansion under President Joe Biden, who sees it as the foundation for moving the U.S. to coverage for all. His giant Covid-19 relief bill significantly increased subsidies for private health plans offered through the ACA’s insurance markets, while also dangling higher federal payments before the dozen states that have declined the law’s Medicaid expansion. About 1 million people have signed up with HealthCare.gov since Biden reopened enrollment amid high levels of Covid cases earlier this year.

The administration says an estimated 31 million people are covered because of the law, most through its combination of Medicaid expansion and marketplace plans. But its most popular benefit is protection for people with pre-existing medical conditions. They cannot be turned down for coverage on account of health problems, or charged a higher premium. While those covered under employer plans already had such protections, “Obamacare” guaranteed them for people buying individual policies.

Another hugely popular benefit allowed young adults to remain on their parents’ health insurance until they turn 26. Before the law, going without medical coverage was akin to a rite of passage for people in their 20s getting a start in the world.

Because of the ACA, most privately insured women receive birth control free of charge. It’s considered a preventive benefit covered at no additional cost to the patient. So are routine screenings for cancer and other conditions.

For Medicare recipients, “Obamacare” also improved preventive care, and more importantly, closed a prescription drug coverage gap of several thousand dollars that was known as the “doughnut hole.”

Bulletin / Health / News / Politics / Texas / Texas Politics / Top Stories / Video

Associated Press

ABC News

Comments

43 Comments

  1. Those states lacked standing, meaning they couldn’t prove they we harmed. A 7-2 decision is pretty significant being the court’s 6-3 right wing majority 2 of the majority dissenting.

  2. I’m telling you, Retrumpicans are in a losing streak!!! Why? Because they are the party of NO! Anal retentive Retrumpicans are against anything that gives the disadvantaged a leg up whether in Health Care, Immigration Reform, or Economic well-being. Too bad! America will always take care of its own, and those who wish to hope for the American Dream no matter what the White Supremacist priviledged say or do. Remember, this is the second Major defeat for Retrumpicans in less than a year. First, SCOTUS refused to install an Illegal president, and now Obama, yes OBAMA, Care is LAW OF THE LAND!! First OBAMA/BIDEN and now BIDEN/HARRIS!!! GOD BLESS AMERICA AND FUCK TRUMPTARDS!!!

    1. You didn’t read the whole article did you nitwit? The real/original Obamacare lost. You recall the individual mandate. No penalty. It was the backbone of Obamacare. SCOTUS let that stand. We can thank the Republicans. Biden/Harris is obviously a trainwreck. Happy TDS nitwit.

      1. Estas Pendejo guey. That part about the mandate is a MOOT POINT! PINCHI TIO TACO. Trump lambe huevos!! OBAMA, what? Let me hear you say, OBAMA…CARE! Viva Obama! Viva Biden Cabrones!!!

        1. See you are an ESL. Callate puto. We all know it’s you Alberto. All I can say is Obama sucks and was the worst President in U.S. history. You need to stay off that cannabis and/or meth.

    2. You are so libtard emotional you don’t know if you won or lost. No win or loss for you since you are probably on welfare medicaid. BTW – I have Tricare and Medicare so this doesn’t affect me one bit.

  3. OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA, OBAMA!!! Health Care Law named for one of the Best Presidents ever, and First Afro-American president in history of the United States. OBAMA/BIDEN. BIDEN/HARRIS. Now…Harris first Woman Vice President and FIRST AFRO-AMERICAN VICE PRESIDENT. God Bless America!!!!

    1. Leaving out pertinent facts again nitwit. Obama was half white. T thought you hated whites. Harris is half Asian. All Harris knows how to do is lay on her back or get down on her knees. One feckless woman. Dementia Joe is a a total embarrassment to the U.S. He can’t even beat Putin. LMAO.

        1. What for? It doesn’t affect me. I have much better medical insurance coverage and much cheaper. So nothing good to say about Biden? Still hung up on Trump? You’re pitiful. How’s that Medicaid treating you. LMAO.

          1. Obamacare is for low income Americans, not for Freeloaders like you, Nitwits. Tripple dippers like you are not affected. But Obamacare is not about you, dummies. Get that through you Nitwits brains!!

  4. Trump…the WORST PRESIDENT EVER!! No wonder Mr Biden called him the worst president EVER, and told him to SHUT UP on stage while millions of people watching on television HEARD IT LOUD AND CLEAR. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂!

    1. Good laugh. Your buddy Biden won’t even make it to half his term. His senility will get worse. Putin is laughing at him. Biden is the laughing stock of the world. Trump is in your mentally diseased head forever. LMAO.

      1. Puta la madre que te Pario guey, mama huevos Tio Taco. Viva Biden y Obama. Chinge su Madre a A Butt y El Trompudo Racista!! Andale pendejo!!

        1. Andale pendeja go jump off a border wall. Nitwit! Trump is in your head 24/7. LMAO. BTW – Say it. Trump was my President.

          1. Oye, Joto! Biden is not your president because you are First class Racist Trump lover. Stick with Loser Trump. BIDEN IS PRESIDENT AND TRUMP IS NOT, GUEY! Get used to it, Menso!

  5. “I like beer” is making a hand. Another loss for the hillbilly white trash. Obama Care is a very bad law and policy but the trumpite filth has had years to replace it with something better and they have failed to do so. This is another example of how Paxton is not qualified to be an attorney General. Any first year law student would know that Texas had no standing in this case. Courts should start imposing massive sanctions on white trash Paxton when he files these meritless claims.

    1. ACA is a redistribution of wealth but it get’s a very bad rap. Without it there were zero options for 45-64 year-olds and for everyone with pre-existing conditions. Many employers dont offer Healthcare and many that do make it very costly. I quit working at 54 and it has served me very well. Without it I would have had to continue to work. YUCK!

    2. You got your law degree from where nitwit? Trump and the Republican Congress already defeated most of Obamacare so what is the issue? Anything else would be extra. It has no teeth since the individual mandate was shot down along with the penalty. Recall via the Trump tax cuts. In reality it is not just a bad law but a worthless law since only an estimated 18 million may have Obamacare coverage out of a population of over 330 million. The 30 million figure leftist media brags about is with the expanded medicaid. The majority of people either make too much or too less to qualify for Obamacare.

        1. We never needed Health care reform. We need INSURANCE reform. Insurance companies should not be allowed to make medical decisions.

          1. I’m shocked. MAGA finally says something that makes sense. Also insurance companies should be banned from having anything to do Health care.

        2. Of course it is bad. Pelosi had to get it passed before reading it. Technically there is no solution. The insurance companies win. Unless less it is an individual person that had their constitutional rights violated there will be no standing. The claim must have merit. Individuals will not waste time, effort or money to sue anymore since the individual mandate and penalty was vaporized. No attorney will take the case.

        3. It was designed that way. It was supposed to fail. That was Obama’s plan to move forward with socialized health care and medicaid for all. It was all a socialist scam.

          1. That’s where we’re headed anyway. Medicare for All if you want it is on the way.

        1. When a career criminal breaks the law, resists arrest, assault a police officer merit-based. Gets shot for it and his family gets millions that is meritless. When a moron spills her coffee in her lap at McDonald’s and gets millions that is merit-based. Our society rewards stupidity with meritless lawsuits. Get out of your moms basement every once in a while

      1. The merits of cases are decided by the law and the facts. Judges decide if the claim has merit under law. Its been that way since the inception of the English Common Law which our nation adopted in 1779.

  6. Twiddly Dee and Twiddly Dum arguing about dumb shit. Hey, nitwits! A judge or a jury awards damages according to the facts. You call it meritless, but you don’t count. Millions of dollars are given out to victims of Police brutality, medical malpractice, or negligence, etc, and of course the defendants have to claim the lawsuits “meritless.” Stick to defending The Orange Blob and Texas Guv A Butt. You’ll never pass the LSAT, let alone be lawyers. What Nitwits!

  7. Obamacare is The Law of The Land! Get used to it! Retrumpicans can bitch and moan about Obamacare, but I bet millions of them wouldn’t be alive today without it. 39 states have expanded Medicaid to low income Americans without health care coverage, thanks to Obamacare. The rest of the States, mainly in the Deep South, and of course, Texas have refused this critical health aid. As it is Texas is the Uninsured capital of the US. With 4.3 million Texans, including 623,000 children, who lack insurance. Way to go A Butt!!

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