It looks like Supreme Court Justice John Roberts is about to get a do-over from his horrible 2012 SCOTUS decision to uphold Obamacare
CNBC – The Supreme Court said on Monday that it will hear an appeal brought by Democratic-led states seeking to reverse a lower court ruling that found a central provision of President Barack Obama’s signature health-care legislation unconstitutional.
The appeal was brought by a coalition of Democratic states, led by California. It came after the federal appeals court based in Louisiana ruled Dec. 18 that the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act was unlawful. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sent the rest of the law back to a lower court to determine if it could still stand.
The case is the latest challenge to the law, more commonly known as Obamacare, which has twice before withstood challenges at the Supreme Court.
Here’s a brief history that explains what exactly the Supreme Court will be ruling on…
SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court in 2012, upheld the individual mandate provision because he said it fell within Congress’s power to tax. The provision was updated in 2017 as part of Trump’s tax reform push to lower the penalty for not having insurance to $0.
Republican states, led by Texas and backed by the Trump administration’s Department of Justice, argued that the effective elimination of the penalty meant the individual mandate could no longer stand a tax.
Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas ruled in their favor in December 2018. O’Connor also held that the rest of the Affordable Care Act was not “severable” from the individual mandate, essentially scrapping the whole bill.
On review, the 5th Circuit agreed with O’Connor that the individual mandate was unconstitutional, but urged him to review the bill with a “finer-toothed comb” to determine “which provisions of the ACA Congress intended to be inseverable from the individual mandate.”
The Democratic states and the House of Representatives filed separate petitions urging the court to settle the matter quickly because of the uncertainty the court battle has created for individuals and industries.
While the case will be heard this year, a ruling likely won’t come until after the 2020 election. Let’s just hope John Roberts gets it right this time.