The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear a Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which could result in the law’s repeal.
Politico reported that the nation’s highest court will likely hear the case later this year after declining requests from Democrats to have the trial start sooner.
It remains unlikely that the Supreme Court will reveal its decision before November’s 2020 elections. The Supreme Court will likely hear the case in October, but the court did not yet say when it will hear oral arguments.
More than a dozen Republican-led states brought the case, Texas v. Azar, and increased the chances that the court could toss out the ACA in its entirety after a federal appeals court found that former President Barack Obama’s signature legislation violated the Constitution.
Republican state officials contend that Obamacare must be struck down because Congress eliminated the penalty for following Obamacare’s individual mandate to purchase health insurance. Republicans believe that the individual mandate is essential to the ACA and that the rest of the provisions would not work and cannot stand without that mandate.
The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Obamacare lawsuit could reinject the future of the ACA back into national politics. President Donald Trump and Republicans have focused mainly on attacking the single-payer Medicare for All healthcare plan. Congressional Republicans have also focused on other healthcare issues, such as surprise medical billing and the rising cost of prescription drugs.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading the Democrat defense of the case, praised the court’s decision to hear Texas v. Azar.
Becerra said in a statement, “As Texas and the Trump Administration fight to disrupt our healthcare system and the coverage that millions of people rely upon, we look forward to making our case in defense of the ACA. American lives depend upon it.”