The Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to the Affordable Care Act in a decision that could mark the end of the line for major legal challenges to the Obama-era health care law.
It was the third major challenge that the Republicans posed against the Affordable Care Act that ensured health care coverage for millions of Americans. Some of its provisions, including coverage for pre-existing conditions like diabetes and cancer, and for children to stay on their parents’ insurance plan until they turn 26, were popular.
Millions of low-income families and people with disabilities were assured health care because their states expanded Medicaid under this law.
After unsuccessful challenges in 2012 and 2015, a number of Republican-led states urged the apex court to block the entire law as unconstitutional.
The nine-member jury ruled that the lawsuit lacked standing to bring the case, and upheld the Act that President Barack Obama signed into law in 2010.
The lawsuit was rejected by a 7-2 majority decision as six members of the judicial panel joining Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s opinion, with Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissenting.
Justice Amy Coney Barret’s support of the law was notable in the sense that Democrats vehemently opposed the Trump nominee’s confirmation in October last year.
President Joe Biden described the Supreme Court decision as a major victory for more than 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and millions more who were in immediate danger of losing their health care in the midst of a pandemic.
“After more than a decade of attacks on the Affordable Care Act through the Congress and the courts, today’s decision – the third major challenge to the law that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected – it is time move forward and keep building on this landmark law,” he said in a statement.
The Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan lowered health care costs and expanded coverage for millions of Americans through the Affordable Care Act. More than 1.2 million Americans had signed up for coverage under the law through a special enrollment period that Biden established in mid-February, which has been extended through August 15.
Biden said he looks forward to working with the Congress to build on this law so that the American people will continue to have access to quality and affordable health care.
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