Supreme Court seems unlikely to do what Republicans want and strike down the Affordable Care Act

Madea Benjamin, with activist group Code Pink, holds a sign during a protest organized by SPACEs In Action at the U.S. Supreme Court, demanding the court preserve the Affordable Care Act in Washington, D.C., on November 10, 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA

Obamacare faced its latest challenge in front of the Supreme Court today. Republicans and the White House want the court to scrap the entire law, arguing it can’t survive without the penalty for not having coverage. The justices didn’t seem very receptive to that argument today.

Chief Justice John Roberts said to the Texas solicitor general, “I think it’s hard for you to argue that Congress intended the entire act to fall if the mandate were struck down, when the same Congress that lowered the penalty to zero did not even try to repeal the rest of the act. I think frankly, they wanted the court to do that, but that’s not our job.”

With the court’s conservative majority now at six to three, a Republican victory here still isn’t completely out of the question.

But millions of people rely on Obamacare, and enrollment for coverage next year has already started. Ten million Americans have also been infected with COVID-19, and others are uninsured because they lost their jobs.

Credits

Guest:
Jonathan Cohn - Senior National Correspondent at Huffington Post, where he writes about health care politics and policy; author of “The Ten Year War: Obamacare and the Unfinished Crusade for Universal Coverage” - @CitizenCohn

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Angie Perrin