In a 7-2 decision, the The Supreme Court dismissed the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act, keeping in force the health care law passed in 2010 under the Obama administration.
Thursday’s decision held that Texas and the other 17 states and individual plaintiffs who challenged the ACA in November had no “standing” and did not show “past or future injuries” caused by the ACA.
The ACA makes it mandatory for everyone in the US to have health insurance, but there is no longer a tax penalty if you don’t have it. The removal of this penalty, the plaintiffs said, made the mandate unconstitutional and it meant that the entire law should fall as reported by The Texas Tribune. But some attorneys argued that because people no longer face a tax penalty for not getting coverage, the the plaintiffs had no legal basis to defy the law, CNN reported.
Judge Stephen Breyer issued the court’s opinion. Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch disagreed. Of the newest judges and the three Trump appointed to the court, Gorsuch was the only one to disagree. Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett joined the majority.
A report released earlier this month by the US Department of Health and Human Services found that 31 million Americans have health care coverage through the ACA. After the ACA’s expansion of Medicaid eligibility for adults in December 2020, 14.8 million people signed up for Medicaid, HHS found.
If Thursday’s decision had been reversed, millions of Americans would have lost health care coverage. Additionally, insurance companies would no longer be required to provide preventive medicine services, such as free contraceptives, and insurance companies could begin denying coverage to people due to a pre-existing condition.
For a complete list of the changes made to health care by the ACA and what is at stake, see.
The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to be medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.