The court sidestepped the larger issue in the case, whether the 2010 health care law can stand without a provision that required most Americans to obtain insurance or pay a penalty. WASHINGTON The Affordable Care Act on Thursday survived. A third major challenge is the Supreme Court on a seven to two vote to decide the latest effort by Republicans to kill the health care law. The legislation President Barack Obama’s defining domestic legacy has been the subject of relentless Republican hostility. But attempts in Congress to repeal it failed, as did two earlier Supreme Court challenges in 2012 and 2015.
With the passing years, the law gained popularity and became woven into the fabric of the health care system. On Thursday, in what Justice Samuel A.. Alito Jr. called in dissent, the third installment in our epic Affordable Care Act trilogy, the Supreme Court again sustained the law. Its future now seems secure, and its potency is a political issue for Republicans reduced the margin of victory was wider than in the earlier cases, with six members of the court.
Joining Justice Stephen Breyer is the modest and technical majority opinion, one that said only that the Republican-led states and two individuals who brought the case had not suffered the sort of direct injury that gave them standing to. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., who had cast the decisive vote to save the law in 2012, was in the majority. So was Justice Clarence Thomas, who had dissented in the earlier decisions. Whatever the Act’s dubious history in this court, Justice Thomas wrote in a concurring opinion.
We must assess the current suit on its own terms. And here there is a fundamental problem with the arguments advanced by the plaintiffs in attacking the act. They have not identified any unlawful action that has injured them. Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Brett M. Kavanaugh and Amy CONI Barrett also joined Justice Breyer’s majority opinion at Justice Barrett’s confirmation hearings last year. Democrats portrayed her as a grave threat to the health care law. The court did not reach the larger issues in the case of whether the bulk of the law could stand without a provision that initially required most Americans to obtain insurance or pay a penalty.
This ruling reaffirms what we have long known to be true. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay, Mr. Obama said on Twitter in the 11 years since Mr. Obama signed the legislation into law. Republicans have assailed the Affordable Care Act as a step toward socialized medicine, government intrusion into health care decisions and a costly boondoggle. They challenged it on a variety of fronts in the courts and made calls for its repeal, a staple of their campaigns. But some of its provisions like coverage for preexisting conditions and for adult children up to age 26, proved popular across party lines.