On Thursday, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act — again — former President Barack Obama delivered a message of triumph. The court’s decision, he said, “reaffirms what we have long known to be true: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.” The Trump administration had supported the case against the Affordable Care Act that was heard by the court, although at the time, the Trump team did not have a replacement plan ready to implement. Thus, millions of Americans could have suddenly been left without coverage and/ or protections if the Trump administration got their way.
The Supreme Court decision upholding the Affordable Care Act this week was 7-2, with seven justices in favor of leaving the law in place and just two against it. The justices in favor of the law included two Trump appointees, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. Obama commented as follows:
‘Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Again. This ruling reaffirms what we have long known to be true: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. The principle of universal coverage has been established, and 31 million people now have access to care through the law we passed—with millions more who can no longer be denied coverage or charged more because of a preexisting condition. Now we need to build on the Affordable Care Act and continue to strengthen and expand it. That’s what [President] Biden has done through the American Rescue Plan, giving more families the peace of mind they deserve.’
Obama also noted that Biden has extended this year’s open enrollment period for Affordable Care Act plans. Now, Americans can sign up for such plans through August 15 of this year (with another open enrollment period no doubt starting later in the year). Check out Obama’s remarks below:
The Republicans behind the original lawsuit argued that, since Congress had lowered the financial penalty for not having health coverage down to zero, then Obamacare’s mandate to obtain health coverage was no longer permissible under Congressional authority to impose taxes, under which it had operated. Thus, they claimed that the whole law should be set aside. The Supreme Court concluded that, since the penalty for not having coverage was at zero, then the Republican state leaders responsible for the lawsuit had no legal standing to bring their case because they had incurred no actionable injury. Theoretical complaints do not count.