Having held off 70 prior efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and one Supreme Court challenge, a new ruling signals that ACA’s detractors may finally be able to claim victory in their battle to overturn former President Obama’s signature legislation.
And it’s interesting that the repeal finds its roots in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius which upheld the law on the basis of Congress’ right to impose taxes. With the recent zeroing out of the individual penalty (or “tax” as the Supreme Court ruled), the court held that this constitutionality basis was also removed.
In this recent Texas federal court action, 20 Republican governors and state attorneys general squared off against 16 of their Democratic counterparts as the Trump-led executive branch refused to oppose the GOP’s lawsuit. Following last week’s allegation that the Ninth Circuit Court is an Obama Court, it is clear that the Republicans chose the Fifth Circuit Court to file the suit because of that courts leaning, and that the legislative branch has become a part of the political drama. And like the 2012 suit, nothing will change or be settled until after the Supreme Court makes a ruling.
Zeroing in on the critical pre-existing condition protections, Democrats were quick to warn Americans that Republicans are trying to take this away – while the GOP asserted that the pre-existing conditions provision would be the catalyst for the new reform.
As we await a ruling on this case, the newest Supreme Court Justice additions may yet prove to be the ultimate legacy of the Trump Administration. Battleground lines are deeper and more fortified than ever. My crystal ball is pretty cloudy. We shall see.