On Thursday, the Supreme Court dismissed the Affordable Care Act in a ruling which will keep the legislation untouched and retain millions of Americans' healthcare coverage. The judges ruled that the challenger had no legal power to bring the matter against the 2010 law. Judge Stephen Breyer delivered the 7-2 ruling.
The judges rejected the argument by Republican-led states and the former administration of Donald Trump, which urged the judges to invalidate the entire law.
The action focused on the individual mandate part of the Affordable Care Act, whereby those who do not sign up for health insurance were first penalized. The judges observed that the measures under consideration do not harm opponents since Congress has decreased the penalty for declining to purchase health insurance to zero in 2017. Two additional major issues in the Supreme Court have survived the Affordable Care Act, one in 2012 and another in 2015.
Earlier this month, the Department of Health and Human Services released a report showing that the Affordable Care Act covers 31 million Americans. Of this number, 11.3 million registered in Obamacare exchanges since February, while 14.8 million new-eligible low-income people registered in the Medicaid expansion since December. In the course of a special registration Biden started in mid-February to broaden its coverage to the uninsured, an additional 1.2 million Americans chose the 2021 policies, lasting till mid-August.
In a Twitter post on Thursday, Ken Paxton, Texas Attorney General who led the challenge and Republican efforts to repeal Obama-era policies through the courts, pledged to keep fighting the legislation, CNN reported.
Obama claims Affordable Care Act is secure
Former President Barack Obama stated that one of his greatest achievements in office was the passage of the Affordable Care Act.
Obama continued with laud to President Joe Biden, who worked on expanding the HealthCare.gov enrollment period and giving Americans greater financial incentives for participation in a health insurance package adopted earlier this year. The number of persons registered by the Affordable Care Act then reached historic numbers.
In the meanwhile, President Joe Biden supported making the extra pandemic benefits permanent. According to HuffPost, the President said, "Today's decision affirms that the Affordable Care Act is stronger than ever, delivers for the American people, and gets us closer to fulfilling our moral obligation to ensure that, here in America, health care is a right and not a privilege."
What does the court's ruling about the Affordable Care Act mean?
The Act allows parents to keep their children included in their health insurance up to age 26 and enables patients to get free mammograms, cholesterol checks, and birth control, as per WRCBTV. One of the most popular aspects of the legislation is its robust protection against pre-existing conditions, including preventing insurers from refusing coverage or charging more benefits based on people's health history.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 54 million Americans - or 27% of non-elderly people have illnesses that render them uninsurable in the individual market ahead of legislation. An Obama administration report shows as many as 133 million Americans might have been refused coverage, had their benefits delayed or limited, or had their health to pay more for individual market insurance.
While some parts of the Affordable Care Act are popular with most Americans, the public is still profoundly split by the legislation itself. Per Kaiser Family Foundation, approximately 54% of individuals expressed a favorable view and 39% had a negative perception of Obamacare.