Trump Administration Urges Supreme Court to Strike Down ObamaCare

June 26, 2020 by Dan McCue
Salt Lake County Health Department's public health nurse Lee Cherie Booth performs a coronavirus anti-body test outside the Salt Lake County Health Department Thursday, June 25, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

WASHINGTON – The Trump administration filed a legal brief with the Supreme Court Thursday night, arguing the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down by the Justices.

Overturning the Affordable Care Act would take away health coverage for about 20 million Americans at a time when states across the country are still struggling to contain the current pandemic.

In addition, protections for people with preexisting health conditions would be put at risk if the court agrees with the administration. The case won’t be heard before the fall.

The brief is straight-forward in its logic. Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote that while it is true the law’s requirement to have health insurance was upheld in court as a tax, Congress has since repealed the financial penalty for violating that requirement, meaning it is no longer a tax and therefore no longer constitutional.

The administration then goes on to argue that because this key provision of the Affordable Care Act is invalid, the entire law is invalid as well.

If the health insurance requirement is invalidated, “then it necessarily follows that the rest of the ACA must also fall,” Francisco said.

In the case before the Supreme Court, Texas and other conservative-led states make a similar argument.

However critics of this rationale argue if Congress intended to strike down the Affordable Care Act when it repealed the mandate penalty, it would have done so at the time.

Among those blasting the administration’s filing Thursday night was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said in a statement, “President Trump and the Republicans’ campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty.”

Privately, many Republicans have described taking on the Affordable Care Act just over four months from the general election in November is an unnecessary headache, particularly as the case would likely not be decided until next Spring.

At the same time, most Supreme Court observers think the current court will rule to uphold the law, given that Chief Justice John Roberts has previously sided with the court’s liberal wing to uphold it on two previous occasions.

An estimated 27 million people may have lost job-based coverage due to layoffs, and it’s unclear what — if anything — they’re turning to as a fallback. People who lose employer health care are eligible for a special sign-up period for subsidized plans under the Obama-era law. Many may also qualify for Medicaid.

As of Thursday, the government said about 487,000 people signed up with HealthCare.gov after losing their workplace coverage this year. That’s an increase of 46% from the same time period last year.

In The News

Health

Voting

Political News

Maryland Enacts Sweeping Reforms to Make Police More Accountable
In The States
Maryland Enacts Sweeping Reforms to Make Police More Accountable
April 13, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Maryland's General Assembly on Saturday enacted the nation’s most sweeping police reform legislation to make officers more accountable to the public. The new rules place more restrictions on use of force and no-knock warrants. Other provisions require body cameras and give civilians a... Read More

Congress to Honor 2nd Capitol Police Officer Slain This Year
Law Enforcement
Congress to Honor 2nd Capitol Police Officer Slain This Year

WASHINGTON (AP) — Slain U.S. Capitol Police Officer William "Billy" Evans will lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday during the second such memorial ceremony this year for a force that has edged close to crisis in the wake of the Jan. 6 insurrection.President... Read More

Biden Aims for Bipartisanship But Applies Sly Pressure
White House
Biden Aims for Bipartisanship But Applies Sly Pressure

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has begun publicly courting Republicans to back his sweeping infrastructure plan, but his reach across the aisle is intended just as much to keep Democrats in line as it is a first step in an uphill climb to any bipartisan... Read More

Biden Wants Infrastructure Deal, But GOP Doubts Persist
Congress
Biden Wants Infrastructure Deal, But GOP Doubts Persist

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden wants Congress to know he's sincere about cutting a deal on infrastructure, but Republican lawmakers have deep-seated doubts about the scope of his proposed package, its tax hikes and Biden's premise that this is an inflection point for the U.S.... Read More

U.S. Looks To Support Clean Infrastructure In India, Bangladesh
Geopolitics
U.S. Looks To Support Clean Infrastructure In India, Bangladesh
April 12, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

Last week and over the weekend, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry met with officials from the governments of India and Bangladesh to talk about strategies for improving climate resilience and adapting to climate change. Kerry emphasized recent U.S. aid projects to the two... Read More

Unintended Consequencs of Sex Trafficking Laws
Cybersecurity
Unintended Consequencs of Sex Trafficking Laws
April 12, 2021
by Victoria Turner

The two federal laws governing sex trafficking online have disproportionately harmed more sex workers than saved victims of human trafficking, said Danielle Borrelli, operations coordinator at the California Cybersecurity Institute, today at a Lincoln Network event moderated by Alexiaa Jordan.   Known and used collectively as SESTA-FOSTA,... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top