The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Affordable Care Act for the third time since Texas and several states led by the Republic sought to repeal the law, saying they had not been standing up to challenge the health status of the Affordable. 2010.
The plaintiffs had argued that the law is unconstitutional after Congress dropped the individual warrant in 2017. But the court, in a 7-2 opinion written by Judge Stephen Breyer, he stated that the states have not shown past or future injuries.
“With the penalty lifted, the IRS can no longer seek a penalty on those who fail to comply,” Breyer wrote to the court. “Because of this, there is no possible government action that is causally connected to the plaintiffs’ injury – the costs of purchasing health insurance.”
During oral arguments of November, each court questioned the plaintiffs’ position. States and individual claimants have stated that the individual mandate imposes a significant burden of costs, even after Congress has repealed the penalty for not having the necessary minimum coverage. This argument did not hold water with the majority.
“But setting aside that pure question of law, it suffices to examine the initial factual premise of his claim to discover another fatal weakness: that the plaintiffs of the State failed to show that the minimum essential coverage benefit was challenged, without any prospect of penalties, it would damage them by leading more individuals to enroll in these programs, ”Breyer wrote.
Legal experts thought it was unlikely that the court would overturn the ACA at all, in part because of the weak arguments made by the plaintiffs and the disruption it would cause to millions of people who earned coverage under the law. reads. But the Justice Department under President Donald Trump has broken the precedent of defending federal laws and has sided with states led by the Republic, giving the case more legitimacy.
Many Democrats-run states, led by former California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is now HHS secretary, have won the right to intervene and defend the law. After President Joe Biden was inaugurated, the DOJ changed course to defend the ACA.
“As a Member of Congress, I helped draft and pass the ACA. As California’s Attorney General, I brought this case up to the Supreme Court. And now, as secretary (HHS), I will continue to lift me up and stay with you to protect access to affordable health, ”Becerra said in a statement. “The public health emergency COVID-19 has stressed the importance of safeguarding this life-saving law and agrees that the Supreme Court should recognize its legitimacy.”
In dismissing the case based on the plaintiffs in court, the judges will not have to consider the merits of the case or whether they will separate the individual mandate from the rest of the law. U 5th United States Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 2017 Congressional decision to overturn the individual mandate rendered unconstitutional, but the court adjourned the questions of severity.
Judges Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were dissenting from the majority,
“I conclude that those provisions are inextricably linked to the individual mandate and that states have therefore demonstrated on merit that those other provisions cannot be applied against them,” Alito wrote in his dissent. “Consequently, states have the right to judge by providing that they are not required to comply with ACA provisions that weigh on them.”
He also questioned the majority opinion of the court, questioning its basis.
“Instead of defending the constitutionality of the individual mandate, the court simply addresses the issue and argues that none of the challengers of the act, including the 18 states that think the act seals them with enormous financial costs, has the right to proceed. Can it be correct? Even $ 1 in damage is enough to sustain the position. However, no state has been in place, “Alito wrote.
But Justice Clarence Thomas, who joined Alito in the early ACA cases, said in a consensus agreement that the inseparability argument has fallen flat because states have never advanced that argument and lower courts have not. they did not treat him in detail.
“As long as the parties seek irreversibility as a remedy, the court is powerless to grant this relief,” he wrote.
Thursday’s decision marks the third time the Supreme Court has upheld the ACA.
The result has been hailed by Congressional Democrats who have used the cause as a campaign issue against Republicans and Trump, arguing that they want to see legal protections for people with pre-existing conditions be overturned. The law has established several popular protections for consumers, including a ban on overcharging patients for coverage or denying them coverage, allowing people to stay on their parents ’health insurance for up to 26 years and of essential health benefits that the plans must cover.
“For more than a decade, the assault on our health care law has been relentless, from Republicans in Congress, from the executive branch itself, and from Republican attorneys general in the courts,” Chuck said. Schumer (DN.Y.), the head of the Senate majority. at the Senate floor Thursday. “Every time, in every arena, the Affordable Care Act has won … So let me definitely say: the Affordable Care Act has won. The Supreme Court has just ruled: the ACA is here to stay.”
Suppliers and insurers were also enthusiastic about the decision, but insisted that there is more work to be done.
“We urge Congress and the administration to take action to close gaps in coverage, promote health equity, and invest in hospitals that care for people facing social and financial difficulties,” he said in a statement. the CEO of America’s Essential Hospitals, Dr. Bruce Siegel.