Supreme Court Vote on Affordable Care Act (ACA)-What Does it Mean?

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The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will soon hear arguments regarding the legality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) also known as Obamacare

While discussions will begin this fall, the SCOTUS will most likely announce its decision in 2021. A coalition of Democratic state Attorney General led by California is defending the federal health care law.  In 2012 and 2015, the SCOTUS ruled that ACA is constitutional because Congress “does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance.”

In February 2018, a coalition of Republican state Attorneys General led by Texas argued that the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made ACA unconstitutional by eliminating the tax penalty for those who do not have health insurance. In December 2018, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas accepted their argument and declared Obamacare unconstitutional.

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A three-judge panel in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans agreed with the district court’s ruling. However, it suggested that the entire law should not collapse and it sent the case back to the lower court to decide which parts should remain. The coalition of Democratic Attorneys General does not want to wait any longer. They wanted to remove the uncertainty surrounding Obamacare as soon as possible so they petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case this year.