SCOTUS rejects ACA challenge as Democrats celebrate an empty victory
LOS ANGELES, June 17, 2021 — In a somewhat surprising decision, the United States Supreme Court upheld the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act by a wider margin than before. In dismissing the challenge to the Affordable Care Act the law remains intact. Democrats are celebrating that the SCOTUS ruling saves health care coverage for millions of Americans.
In their response, the justices turned away a challenge from Republican-led states and the former Trump administration, which urged the justices to block the entire law. Even Judge Clarence Thomas upheld the law.
To be more specific, SCOTUS dodged the ACA issue.
Unfortunately, it is a rather empty celebration for Democrats. SCOTUS is not upholding the validity of the law. The Justices are, instead proffering that in trying to overturn the ACA, the plaintiffs are lacking standing. The justices voted 7-2 that plaintiffs challenging the act were not harmed by the Affordable Care Act, and therefore didn’t have the right to bring the lawsuit in the first place. Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch joined Associate Justice Samuel Alito dissenting.
As is typical, SCOTUS decided not to decide.
Democrats’ victory is hollow because Obamacare exists in name only. In practical terms, it’s already dead. Trump effectively gutted the law by eliminating the tax penalty mandate. Republican-led states, as well as the Trump administration, argue that by eliminating the penalty mandate, the rest of the law should fall, too. As we see with Democrats and crime, when you eliminate enforcement penalties, the law is meaningless. Such is the case with the ACA.
“The elimination of the penalty had become the hook that Texas and other Republican-led states, as well as the Trump administration, used to attack the entire law. They argued that without the mandate, a pillar of the law when it was passed in 2010, the rest of the law should fall, too”
In theory, President Joe Biden could by executive order reinstate the tax penalty.
However, in reality, that would be political suicide for Democrats already facing a potential bloodbath in the midterms. Americans are already worried about inflation. Gas and food prices are skyrocketing. Throw in higher healthcare costs, and Democrats might as well just concede the 2022 elections.
The ACA is a terrible policy.
Keeping the ACA alive as a political issue benefitted Republicans in 2010 and 2014, and will again in 2022. If this is what Democrats are celebrating, they are in bigger trouble than Americans subjected to the failed pyramid scheme that is the Affordable Care Act.
The ACA exists. Good luck trying to enforce it.
About the Author:
Brooklyn-born, Long Island raised and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist, and comedian. But he lives for football. Particularly the Raiders.