Affordable Care Act challenge dismissed by Supreme Court

Affordable Care Act - Supreme Court

The justices turned down the Republican state-led challenge to the health care law.

At the end of last week, the Supreme Court dismissed the challenge to the Affordable Care Act. This left the law intact, keeping millions of Americans’ health care coverage in place.

The justices rejected the former Trump administration and Republican-led states’ effort to block the law.

The challenge to the Affordable Care Act led by Republican states and the former Trump administration sought to have the justices block the law in its entirety. According to the Supreme Court justices, the 2010 law’s challengers did not have the legal right to bring the case. The 7-2 decision was written by Justice Stephen Breyer. The two dissenters were Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito.

“With millions of people relying on the Affordable Care Act for coverage, it remains, as ever, a BFD. And it’s here to stay,” said President Joe Biden in a tweet following the decision. The BFD was a reference to his having been heard speaking to President Barack Obama next to a live mic in 2010 when he referred to the law as a “big f—king deal.”

The Justices pointed out there was no harm to Affordable Care Act opponents without the individual mandate.

As Congress had reduced the so-called individual mandate penalty for failing to purchase health insurance coverage to nothing, the justices pointed out that there was no harm to opponents of the 2010 health care law.

“For these reasons, we conclude that the plaintiffs in this suit failed to show a concrete, particularized injury fairly traceable to the defendants’ conduct in enforcing the specific statutory provision they attack as unconstitutional,” wrote Breyer. “They have failed to show that they have standing to attack as unconstitutional the Act’s minimum essential coverage provision.”

Earlier in June, the Department of Health and Human Services released a report which indicated that 31 million Americans – a record number – now had health insurance coverageAffordable Care Act - Supreme Court by way of the Affordable Care Act. This included 11.3 million people who had enrolled in the insurance exchanges as of February as well as 14.8 million low-income people who were newly eligible for Medicaid and had enrolled as of December 2020.

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