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This is the third time the court heard a challenge to the ACA. Here’s how we got here.

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California v. Texas marks the third time the court heard a important challenge to the Affordable Care Act, though the stakes had been heightened given the implications of Covid-19, the catastrophic deaths and the present burdens dealing with the well being care business. 

Texas and different Republican-led states, with the assist of the Trump administration, challenged the legislation which was defended by California and different Democratic-led states plus the House of Representatives 

  • 2012: Roberts solid the key vote in a 5-4 choice that surprised Republicans, holding that the legislation’s particular person protection mandate was legitimate underneath Congress’ taxing energy.
  • By 2017: The Republican-led Congress lower the tax penalty for individuals who lacked insurance coverage to zero as a part of the year-end tax overhaul. 

The Republican-led states supported by the Trump administration sued, arguing that since the mandate was now not tied to a particular tax penalty, it had misplaced its authorized underpinning. They additionally argued that as a result of the particular person mandate was intertwined with a multitude of different provisions, the whole legislation ought to fall, together with protections for individuals with preexisting circumstances. 

The choice immediately: On Thursday, two of Trump’s nominees agreed that the challengers had no no standing. Justice Neil Gorsuch didn’t. 

In December of 2019, a federal appeals court held that the particular person mandate was unconstitutional. But critically, the court punted on whether or not the remainder of the huge legislation – even provisions unrelated to the mandate – may stay on the books.  

In court, Texas Solicitor General Kyle D. Hawkins mentioned the 2017 change made the particular person mandate unconstitutional.

“It is a naked command to purchase health insurance, and, as such, it falls outside Congress’ enumerated powers,” he mentioned. “The proper course is to take Congress at its word and declare the mandate unconstitutional and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA,” he mentioned.

Then Acting Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall sided with Texas on the challenge, arguing that the mandate “exceeded” Congress’ powers. 

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