SCOTUS May Save the ACA

21 million Americans may keep their Affordable Care Act health insurance after 2 conservative justices opened the path for striking down the requirement to buy insurance—but not entire law, The Hill reports.
 
The Republican-led suit aims to take out the ACA entirely, claiming that the individual mandate was rendered unconstitutional by President Trump’s 2017 tax cut law nixing noncompliance penalties.    

  • In court yesterday, John Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh seemed to lean toward preserving key elements of the Obama-era law, including protections for people with preexisting conditions.
  • Justice Roberts was skeptical, given that “the same Congress that lowered the penalty to zero did not even try to repeal the rest of the act,” he said.
  • He also came down hard on the other side. In a 2012 suit, Obamacare defenders argued that the mandate was fundamental to the act: “Why the bait and switch?” he asked, POLITICO reports.
  • While justices invoked an “analogy palooza” imagining similar mandates on broccoli, lawnmowing, and American flags, Trump’s latest appointee, Amy Coney Barrett, stayed relatively quiet.
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