The Supreme Court may have dealt the final death blow to Obamacare on Thursday when the nation's highest court dropped a lawsuit backed by Republican-led states, finding there was no legal basis to challenge the health bill.
The Affordable Care Act has weathered the three major challenges since it was passed in 2010.
Former President Donald Trump had tried to repeal the law, but Republican Congress only went so far as to remove the single mandate as part of the 2017 Trump tax cut.
BREAKING: Supreme Court drops lawsuit to crush Obamacare, finding that Republican-led states and individual plaintiffs behind the case have no right to challenge the law https://t.co/oBZ4Iqi9Ay
– POLITICO (@politico) June 17, 2021
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Where the judges came down
The court's decision was split 7-2, with Conservative judges sided with the Liberals in the court – with the exception of Judge Samuel Alito and Judge Neil Gorsuch, who disagreed.
Judges nominated by Trump, Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh, passed the bill.
Judge Stephen Breyer wrote the majority decision, saying that none of the law's contenders could prove a violation of the law under the law.
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Breyer wrote, "Unsurprisingly, states have failed to demonstrate that an unenforceable mandate will induce residents to enroll in valuable benefit programs that they would otherwise forego."
President Joe Biden also tweeted the decision, referring to a now famous quote from him.
A great win for the American people.
There is no better day than today to sign up for quality, affordable healthcare at https://t.co/gRX1fGFEzj.
With millions of people relying on the Affordable Care Act, it remains a BFD as always. And it's here to stay https://t.co/5GPl9aR8uB
– President Biden (@POTUS) June 17, 2021
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The heart of the case
The defendants argued that because of the cancellation of the individual mandate, the entire law should be abolished, since the actual mandate to take out insurance still exists and is the core of the law's function.
The court found that those who challenged Obamacare were unable to demonstrate how much they had been hurt by an already ineffective mandate.
After Texas and the other states filed suit, a group of Democrat-led states and the House of Representatives attempted to intervene in the case in order to obtain Obamacare.
Supremes did not rule on Obamacare's legality. They decided on the state of affairs. Nobody protected it. Nobody found it constitutional. Nobody thought it appropriate.
– Don Lynch (@DrDonLynch) June 17, 2021
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GOP reaction and comments from the judges
After the decision, Republicans said they would continue to fight Democrats who are trying to get the federal government even more involved in the health care of individual Americans.
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), a senior Republican on the House of Representatives Energy and Trade Committee, made a statement saying, "Instead of stumbling toward socialized medicine, we should work together to build our health system with solutions like . modernize price transparency, reduce drug costs without state price control systems, reduce bureaucratic effort and provide incentives for more private investment in pioneering drugs and treatments. "
Judge Clarence Thomas wrote a concurring statement to Breyer & # 39; s stating, "Although this court has been wrong twice on Affordable Care Act cases, it is not wrong today."
Judges Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch disagreed. In his dissent, Alito wrote that the individual mandate was “clearly unconstitutional” and described the court's judgment on safeguarding the law as an example of “judicial ingenuity”.
Alito went on to write: "I come to the conclusion that these provisions are inextricably linked with the individual mandate and that the states have therefore shown on the substance that these other provisions cannot be enforced against them."
And in a rare display of snark or possibly frustration, Alito appeared to be commenting on previous court rulings regarding Obamacare. He indicated that interpretation of the law may not be the driving force in some decisions.
“Nobody is impressed with the efforts this court has made to defend the Court of Auditors from all threats. A penalty is a tax. The United States is a state. And 18 states that bear costly burdens within the framework of the Court of Auditors cannot even get a foot in the door to pose a constitutional challenge. "
Hey #StupidLiberals, there is a BIG difference between #SCOTUS rejecting a case for lack of reputation or rejecting it for lack of merit. Regardless of today's ruling, #Obamacare remains # unconstitutional
– David Higgins (@ dhiggins63) June 17, 2021
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