The United States Supreme Court has decided to hear a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) — more commonly referred to as Obamacare — prior to the 2020 election in November, according to the Washington Post:
“The Supreme Court will hear a third challenge to the Affordable Care Act, this time at the request of Democratic-controlled states that are fighting a lower court decision that challenged the constitutionality of the law.
“The court’s review will probably come in the term that begins in October, which would not leave time for a decision before the November election. The law remains in effect.”
Even though no decision is expected before the election, the fact that the high court is accepting the case for review is likely to place the issue front and center in the presidential race and could also impact who controls Congress.
A previous motion to the justices for a ruling during the current term of court was rejected. That motion had been filed by the House of Representatives and Democratic-led states, the Post notes:
“They want review of a decision last year by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit. The panel struck down the law’s mandate that individuals buy health insurance but sent back to a lower court the question of whether the rest of the statute can stand without it. The lower court had said the entire law must fall.”
The ACA has been tossed back and forth among various federal courts, so it was only a matter of time before SCOTUS would have to render a final decision on the law, according to NBC News:
“In 2017, the Republican-led Congress set the tax penalty at zero. That led Texas and a group of red states to rule that the revised law is unconstitutional. A federal judge in Texas agreed, ruling that because the tax was eliminated, the law could not no longer be saved as a use of the taxing power. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans upheld that ruling by a 2-1 vote in mid-December.
“But the appeals court decision ordered the trial judge to reconsider his ruling that the entire law must fall without the glue of the individual mandate holding it together. The Trump administration initially said parts the law could be saved without the individual mandate, but then changed its position to say the rest of the statute could not stand.”
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