By John Kanelis / firstname.lastname@example.org
The Affordable Care Act is alive and likely quite well.
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a remarkably united decision — 7 to 2, to be precise — that keeps the landmark health care program intact.
According to The Hill: The case was decided on fairly technical grounds. The Court ruled that the challengers did not have standing to sue, given that the penalty for not having health insurance at the center of the case had been reduced to zero, so it was not causing any actual harm that could be the basis for a lawsuit.
What does this mean for the future of what has been known colloquially as Obamacare, named after President Obama’s signature domestic victory? It should signal the end of Republicans’ futile attempts to repeal the law. I say “should,” but it likely won’t.
Only two of the court’s conservatives ruled to repeal a portion of the law: Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch. Other right-wing jurists — Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Amy Coney Barrett, Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts — sided with the liberals on the court, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer in determining that the litigants didn’t have standing.
I am delighted to know that the ACA no longer has a president in office who keeps yapping about ending the law while producing not a single idea for how to replace it. For four years, President Biden’s immediate predecessor kept telling us how he would repeal the ACA. It didn’t happen. Indeed, two previous court challenges ended with conservatives coming up short.
I get that the ACA isn’t perfect. So does President Obama. He has said repeatedly that he took no exclusive ownership of the law, insisting that he was open to anything to improve it. Republicans so far have some up with, well … nothing! All they have sought was to remove the ACA from the books, cheered on by POTUS 45, who just could not stomach being shown up by the black guy who preceded him as president.
Here we are. A 7-2 Supreme Court decision should spell the end of these ridiculous challenges. I fear it won’t.
Still, to borrow a phrase muttered into a hot mic by then-VP Joe Biden when the Affordable Care Act became law more than a decade ago, this court ruling is a “big fu**ing deal.”