August 2, 2021

The Supreme Court of the United States again refuses to strike down “Obamacare”

This is a new snub for former President Donald Trump, who tried by all means to remove the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the affordable care law, nicknamed “Obamacare”, promulgated by President Barack Obama March 23, 2010.

In a decision taken by a majority of seven out of nine judges, the United States Supreme Court on Thursday, June 17 refused to strike down Barack Obama’s flagship health insurance law, leaving in place health coverage for millions. Americans. Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh, two of the three justices appointed by Donald Trump to the Supreme Court, joined the majority while Neil Gorsuch disagreed and signed the dissenting opinion in which Judge Samuel Alito explained the reason for his disagreement. This decision, the third devoted to this law, is based on a procedural argument: according to them, Texas and the other Republican states which brought the appeal were not justified in doing so.

New Democratic President Joe Biden had judged “Cruel” this final attempt by Republicans to overturn a law that proved particularly useful during the Covid-19 pandemic. In its original form, Obamacare required all Americans, even those in good health, to purchase insurance on pain of financial penalties and required companies to insure all potential customers, regardless of their state of health. This reform made it possible to provide health coverage to 31 million Americans who had not previously had it, but Republicans have always viewed compulsory insurance as an abuse of government power.

Third attempt by the Republicans

Their first recourse was therefore aimed at this “Individual mandate”. The Supreme Court upheld it in 2012, ruling that financial penalties could be considered taxes and justified state intervention. When he arrived at the White House, Donald Trump had tried to repeal the law in Congress but had suffered a sharp setback. Republican elected officials, however, had managed to amend it in 2017, and had reduced the fines for lack of insurance to zero.

Several republican states had then introduced new legal remedies, arguing that the law no longer held. In December 2018, a Texas federal judge ruled in their favor: ” the Keystone “ the building having fallen, the whole law is unconstitutional, he had decided. It is this decision that the Supreme Court overturned Thursday. “We have not decided the question of the validity of the law, but Texas and the other plaintiffs are not competent to ask it”, wrote progressive judge Stephen Breyer on behalf of the majority of his colleagues.

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Le Monde with AFP and AP