The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected Democrats’ request to hear a legal case that could strike down Obamacare, pushing the case to after the 2020 presidential elections.
The Supreme Court’s decision to delay the Affordable Care Act (ACA) lawsuit dashes the Democrats’ hope to elevate health care as a pivotal issue for the 2020 presidential and congressional elections.
Democrats flipped the House in the 2018 congressional elections after Republicans failed to repeal and replace Obamacare. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) claimed that the Republican Obamacare repeal package would eliminate protections for preexisting conditions, even though Republicans have sharply refuted that claim.
Republicans moving to strike down the ACA contend that Obamacare is now unconstitutional since Congress removed the Obamacare individual mandate with the Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
A panel of U.S. Circuit of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, Louisiana, ruled in December that the individual mandate is unconstitutional.
The circuit court ruled:
[T]he individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power. On the severability question, we remand to the district court to provide additional analysis of the provisions of the ACA as they currently exist.
Circuit Court Judge Walker Elrod wrote in her majority opinion:
It may still be that none of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate, even after this inquiry is concluded. It may be that all of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate. It may also be that some of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate, and some is not.
President Trump said last week that he will continue to protect Americans with preexisting conditions and provide a great healthcare plan for the country.
The president vowed in 2019 that the Republican Party will soon become the “party of health care.”
“I was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare, you have it now, while at the same time winning the fight to rid you of the expensive, unfair and very unpopular Individual Mandate,” Trump wrote.
President Trump added:
…if Republicans win in court and take back the House of Representatives, your healthcare, that I have now brought to the best place in many years, will become the best ever, by far. I will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!
….and, if Republicans win in court and take back the House of Represenatives, your healthcare, that I have now brought to the best place in many years, will become the best ever, by far. I will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2020