For the last decade, killing Obamacare has essentially been the GOP’s version of trying to make fetch happen. The Supreme Court ruled 7-2 in favor of protecting the law on Thursday, once more proving that fetch is never going to happen.
According to CNBC, this third effort to abolish the Affordable Care Act began shortly after the 2017 tax bill passed by Congress and signed into law by former President Donald Trump reduced the individual mandate penalty in the act to $0. Lawsuits were then filed by Texas and over a dozen Republican-led states, arguing that the loss of the individual mandate somehow made all of the act...unconstitutional? I don’t know constitutional law like that, but my bullshit radar stays strong, and this argument sent it beeping off the charts.
The Supreme Court had previously upheld the mandate under Congress’ power to tax, but the GOP-led states argued that the tax justification was no longer valid if the penalty was nonexistent.
Those states, backed by Trump’s Department of Justice, argued that the entire Affordable Care Act should be erased if the individual mandate provision was found to be unlawful.
The case made its way through federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, which agreed that the individual mandate was unconstitutional. But 20 Democrat-led states, led by California, asked the Supreme Court to reverse the appeals court’s judgment, arguing that with the mandate reduced to zero Americans have the choice whether or not to buy insurance.
The Supreme Court agreed to hear the case in March of last year, and there was significant concern that the 6-3 Republican supermajority, three of whom were Trump appointees, would vote to repeal the act. That was not the case as Chief Justice John Roberts, along with Conservative Justices Clarence Thomas, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett joined Justice Stephen Breyer’s opinion, along with Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
Breyer’s opinion basically boiled down to saying that the various states failed to show how they were harmed by the law. “Neither the individual nor the state plaintiffs have shown that the injury they will suffer or have suffered is ‘fairly traceable’ to the ‘allegedly unlawful conduct’ of which they complain,” Breyer wrote.
I really don’t understand why the GOP have beef with the law. It’s totally cool when our tax dollars are used to fuel drone strikes on brown people in other countries, but making sure everyone can have healthcare? Buddy, that’s where they draw the fucking line.
President Joe Biden, who was Obama’s vice president when the law was enacted in 2010, celebrated the ruling. “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 to move forward and keep building on this landmark law,” he said in a statement.