Supreme Court Hears Obamacare Challenge

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by Rodney Pelletier  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 11, 2020   

Conservative justices appear reluctant to change law

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WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - While Democrats have been worried Obamacare would be overturned by a conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court, it appears justices are reluctant to change the status quo.

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Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh

Yesterday, the High Court heard the first challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) — known as Obamacare — but conservatives Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh were hesitant to declare the legislation unconstitutional.

Although a final decision is expected in June 2021, Kavanaugh called the case "straightforward," leaving the ACA "in place" for the time being.

ACA: Court Interpretation

Known as California v. Texas, the case started in 2018 after the Trump administration removed the financial penalty for people refusing to get health insurance. Republican state attorneys general filed a lawsuit that was upheld by lower courts, alleging that since there was no actual penalty for individuals refusing to participate in the health care marketplace "the remainder of the ACA must also fall."

In 2010, President Barack Obama refused to call the ACA a tax, despite forcing all Americans to get health insurance or pay a penalty. House Democrats were adamant to pass the legislation, even though they seemed to not have read the 10,000-plus page legislation, with House majority leader Nancy Pelosi famously remarking, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy."

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The Supreme Court allowed Obamacare to continue in 2012, justifying that it was a tax and that Congress had the right to tax the people — the complete opposite of what Obama and the Democrats said it was.

Removing Burdens, Protecting Pre-Existing Conditions

In the 2017 tax law, President Trump repealed the individual mandate, which removed the burden forcing Americans who did not have private insurance to either pay for Obamacare or pay for not having it. It was after this the Republicans began eyeing the wholesale dismantling of the ACA.

President Trump repealed the individual mandate, which removed the burden forcing Americans who did not have private insurance to either pay for Obamacare or pay for not having it.

During the first two years of the president's term, he pushed a majority-Republican House to repeal and replace Obamacare, but constant infighting halted the effort.

In September, Trump signed an executive order called the America First Health Care Plan, which protects people with pre-existing conditions, prevents surprise billing and allows customers more health care choices.

He declared: "The historic action I'm taking today includes the first-ever executive order to affirm it is the official policy of the United States government to protect patients with pre-existing conditions."

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