Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Supreme Court to Hear Obamacare Case

AP Photo/Mark Tenally
The Supreme Court announced Monday it will take up the challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate.
The case likely will be heard in the fall, with a decision expected by June 2021.
A federal appeals court ruled last year that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate runs afoul of the Constitution because it is no longer a tax following President Trump’s decision to zero out the fine for not having insurance.
But the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, put off a thornier question — whether other parts of the law, informally known as Obamacare, can stand without the lever that forced Americans to get insurance or pay a penalty.
The high court will consider the issue when it hears arguments later this year.
The case comes after groups of red and blue states have sued to test the impact of the Trump administration’s tax overhaul on the individual mandate, which had been upheld by the Supreme Court as a legal tax.
But in 2017, Congress passed tax cuts which placed the penalty for not buying coverage under the Affordable Care Act at zero. That move, lower courts ruled, resulted in the law being unconstitutional.
Mr. Trump, an outspoken critic of the Affordable Care Act, had called the decision from the lower court “a win for all Americans and confirms what I have said all along: that the individual mandate, by far the worst element of Obamacare, is unconstitutional.”
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