Trump administration asks Supreme Court to invalidate Affordable Care Act

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Jun 26, 2020, 11:46 AM(IST)

US President Donald Trump Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Some 20 million Americans could lose their health coverage and protections for people with preexisting health conditions also would be put at risk if the court agrees with the administration in a case that won't be heard before the fall.
 

The Trump administration urged the Supreme Court to invalidate the Affordable Care Act in a legal brief filed Thursday, putting health care at center stage in an election year already focused on the coronavirus pandemic’s impact.

The Justice Department said the 2010 health law, a signature achievement of the Obama administration, is invalid because Congress in 2017 ended the financial penalty for not having health insurance, though it didn’t take effect until 2019.

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The administration's latest high court filing came the same day the government reported that close to half a million people who lost their health insurance amid the economic shutdown have gotten coverage through HealthCare.gov.

In a late-night filing, Solicitor General Noel Francisco said that once the law's individual coverage mandate and two key provisions are invalidated, "the remainder of the ACA should not be allowed to remain in effect."

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The justices will hear arguments in the case sometime next term, although it is unclear if they will occur before the November election.

In the case before the Supreme Court, Texas and other conservative-led states argue that the ACA was essentially rendered unconstitutional after Congress passed tax legislation in 2017 that eliminated the law's unpopular fines for not having health insurance, but left in place its requirement that virtually all Americans have coverage.
 
After failing to repeal "Obamacare" in 2017 when Republicans fully controlled Congress, President Donald Trump has put the weight of his administration behind the legal challenge.

It will be the third time the court has heard a significant challenge to the law. The case pits a coalition of Democratic attorneys general led by California and the House of Representatives, which are defending the law, against the Trump administration and a group of red state attorneys general led by Texas.

At issue is whether the law's individual mandate was rendered unconstitutional because Congress reduced the penalty for remaining uninsured to zero and, if so, whether that would bring down the entire law. A federal appeals court in December ruled that the mandate was unconstitutional but punted the decision on which, if any, of the law's provisions could be retained back to the district court -- which had previously found the entire law to be invalidated.

Some 20 million Americans could lose their health coverage and protections for people with preexisting health conditions also would be put at risk if the court agrees with the administration in a case that won't be heard before the fall.
 

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