The death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has inspired a crowd of ideas about the long-term implications of the sharp shift to the right in the court’s ideological lineup.
But very soon, Ginsburg’s death could have a huge impact on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more commonly known as Obamacare. After upholding the law in 2012, the Supreme Court will again scrutinize the law, and arguments are scheduled for the week following the election. The ruling against the law may put the protection of people who have had trouble purchasing health insurance due to pre-existing health conditions.
Understanding individual delegation
The ACA has a requirement known as a “singular mandate” that requires most Americans to have health care insurance. With some exceptions, if you do not have health care insurance through your job, and you do not subscribe to Medicare or Medicaid, that means you are most likely buying health insurance through a state or federal exchange.
Under the ACA, those who do not have health insurance You must pay a fine. With the exception of a portion of the Tax Reduction Act that was passed by Republicans in Congress in 2017, There is no longer a monetary penalty for violating an individual mandate.
California vs Texas
at this moment California vs Texas, A group of state Republican prosecutors arguing that by no penalty for non-compliance with a single mandate, the ACA as a whole is no longer constitutional because the mandate is necessary for law.
The The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court ruling The individual mandate was no longer constitutional, but sent the case back to a district court to resolve the issue of “separating” the issue of delegation from support for the rest of the ACA.
The Trump administration has joined the plaintiffs in seeking to repeal the law. The anti-corruption law is now being defended by a group of Democratic state prosecutors, who petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case rather than delaying the case for years, getting us where we are today.
What is at stake?
The court can go many different ways with this latest challenge facing the ACA. They can choose to refute the argument that the single mandate is unconstitutional and uphold the law.
Judges can also rule that the mandate is unconstitutional and remove it from law while leaving the Civil Aviation Authority in place. Since there is already no penalty for non-compliance, this provision also won’t change much.
Or, the court can decide that individual delegation is so critical to the ACA as a whole that by revoking the mandate, they also have to repeal the entire law. maybe Exposing health insurance coverage to at least 20 million people Who purchase insurance through exchanges or through ACA expanding Medicaid coverage. It would also repeal other provisions of the law, including:
- Prevent insurance companies from denying coverage or making coverage more expensive for people with pre-existing health conditions (which could include diagnosing COVID-19 in the future)
- Allow children to remain on their parents’ health insurance until they reach the age of 26
- Access to contraception without out-of-pocket costs
- Coverage required for childbirth and preventive measures such as mammograms and body X-rays
In short, it can be very messy for Americans, doctors, and everyday insurance companies.
The Ginsburg effect?
Ginsburg’s death left the court with eight justices. If the new justice has not been appointed by the time the arguments are being presented, it is unlikely that a new judge will participate in the final ruling.
A 4-4 draw would support the Fifth Circuit ruling that unconstitutional delegation of power. However, this would only affect the states under Fifth Circuit (Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi).