States Attempt to Repeal the Affordable Care Act through Lawsuit

By: Jose Guerra  | Updated Jan 21, 2020

In what might become a tremendous reversal of health care law, nearly 18 states are suing to end the ACA. The battle to overturn the law partially began though US District Judge Reed O’Conner’s ruling that the entirety of the healthcare law was unconstitutional. The case While Democrats have appealed for the case to be heard as quickly as possible, the US Supreme Court has decided to hear the case after the 2020 election. Until the case is decided, the ACA will remain in effect.

The lawsuit was originally filed in 2018 of February and has been named California v. Texas and House of Representatives v. Texas. In opposition to the 5th Circuit Court’s decision to uphold segments of the argument in December of 2019, 21 states, including California, are defending the Affordable Care Act. 

The case rests on a zeroed out tax mandate congress created within the ACA. The zero-out mandate effectively eliminated the individual mandate, disallowing increased tax rates for Americans who earn more under ACA. Multiple legal scholars have given the opinion that the legal case is weak, yet with the case lingering, potential changes within the Supreme Court might open the possibility for the ACA to be repealed. 

Under the current Supreme Court setup, there is a 5-4 conservative-liberal split. The Trump administration has been looking towards replacing two judges in the upcoming years, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 86, and Stephen Breyer, 81. If this situation were to occur, with conservative judges in the majority, the chances for Obama’s healthcare act to be overturned increases. 

As the law stands, millions of Americans benefit from increased access to medical insurance through the Affordable Care Act. If repealed, the Urban Institute posits that nearly 20 million Americans will lose access to medical care by insurance. Since medical debt already hurts 137 million Americans, the loss of healthcare insurance will likely lead to its increase. 

With millions of Americans at risk of losing their healthcare insurance, “red” states across the board are supporting a lawsuit that intends to undermine and overturn the Affordable Care Act. In delaying the court case hearing, the Supreme Court may have created a chance for Trump to appoint judges in the future that would rule against Obama’s landmark law. While the case rests on poor legal arguments, particular aspects of it are feasible. Since the case is on hiatus, the question as to whether or not the ACA is constitutional is being held in limbo.



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