The Justice Department asked the Supreme Court on Thursday to invalidate the Affordable Care Act.
Also known as Obamacare, the landmark health care law that enabled millions of Americans to get insurance coverage. It remains in effect despite the pending legal challenge.
In a late-night filing, Solicitor General Noel Francisco said that once the law’s individual coverage mandate and two key provisions are invalidated, “the remainder of the ACA should not be allowed to remain in effect.”
The justices will hear arguments in the case sometime next term, but it is not clear if they will occur before the November election.
It will be the third time the court has heard a significant challenge to the law. A coalition of Democratic attorneys, general led by California and the House of Representatives are defending the law.
However, the Trump administration and a group of red state attorneys general led by Texas.
The issue is whether the law’s individual mandate was rendered unconstitutional because Congress reduced the penalty for remaining uninsured to zero.
However, can this bring down the entire law?
A federal appeals court in December ruled that the mandate was unconstitutional.
However, they punted the decision on if any of the law’s provisions could be retained back to the district court.
The district court had previously found the entire law to be invalidated.
The administration has recently argued that the entire law should fall. However, that the ruling should only apply to the 18 states that brought the challenge.
White House spokesman Judd Deere called Obamacare “an unlawful failure”. He called on Congress “to work on a bipartisan basis to provide quality, affordable care.”
In addition, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sharply criticized the administration on Thursday after the late-night filing.
“President Trump and the Republicans’ campaign to rip away the protections and benefits of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of the coronavirus crisis is an act of unfathomable cruelty.”
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden came for Trump for continuing to support ending the law.
“Today, his Administration is filing a brief with the Supreme Court to rip health care coverage away from 23 million Americans — including 224,000 Wisconsinites,” Biden said, remarking on Trump’s visit to the State Thursday.
“Every American deserves the peace of mind that comes (with) access to affordable, high-quality health care.”
Biden is planning to make a new health care push on protecting the Affordable Care Act this week.
He was vice president when former President Barack Obama signed the bill into law in 2010. He is actually calling for strengthening it by making federal premium subsides more generous. Also allowing more people to qualify for subsidies.
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About 11.4 million people signed up for 2020 Obamacare polices on the exchanges. Nearly 12.7 million low-income adults have gained coverage through Medicaid expansion.
It allows young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents’ policies and bans insurers from denying coverage to those who buy their own policies or charging them more because of pre-existing conditions.
It also lets many people obtain free birth control, annual physicals, mammograms and cholesterol tests.
The filings come a day after House Democrats unveiled a bill to enhance the landmark law.
It would make Obamacare policies more affordable by bolstering federal premium subsidies — limiting monthly premiums to 8.5% of enrollees’ income and allowing more middle class Americans to receive the subsidies by eliminating the income cap of four times the poverty level.
It also tries to entice more states to expand Medicaid to low-income adults by covering 100% of the cost for the first three years.