The United States Supreme Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act is valid and constitutional.
Eighteen Republican-led states argued that the ACA, also known as “Obamacare,” became unconstitutional when congressional Republicans eliminated the individual mandate — a requirement for all uninsured Americans to buy coverage or face a tax penalty.
The Supreme Court reasoned that Texas, the lead state in the effort to invalidate the law, failed to establish standing in the case. In other words, it said the plaintiffs, which included two private individuals, had no business bringing the issue before the high court.
Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas and Amy Coney Barrett voted to reject the effort. Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch voted in dissent.
“A plaintiff has standing only if he can ‘allege personal injury fairly traceable to the defendant’s allegedly unlawful conduct and likely to be redressed by the requested relief,'” Breyer wrote for the majority.
“Neither the individual nor the state plaintiffs have shown that the injury they will suffer or have suffered is ‘fairly traceable’ to the ‘allegedly unlawful conduct’ of which they complain,” Breyer added.
President Barack Obama rejoiced at the Supreme Courts’ decision.
“Now we need to build on the Affordable Care Act and continue to strengthen and expand it,” the former President said. “That’s what President Biden has done through the American Rescue Plan, giving more families that peace of mind they deserve. And because he extended the special enrollment period until August 12, anyone who needs coverage can go to healthcare.gov and sign up.”
President Joe Biden also praised the Supreme Court’s decision.
“After more than a decade of attacks on the Affordable Care Act through the Congress and the courts, today’s decision – the third major challenge to the law that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected – it is time move forward to keep building on this landmark law,” President Biden said.
Over one million Americans have enrolled in the Affordable Care Act since February when President Biden opened a special enrollment period due to the pandemic.