For the third time, and possibly the last, the US Supreme Court supported Barack Obama’s health care reform, known as Obamacare, by ruling by seven votes to two, that the appeals presented by two individuals and 18 states governed by Republicans lack legal basis. The regulation, among other measures, obliges citizens to take out medical insurance and insurers to offer it at a reasonable price. A conviction would have automatically left more than 20 million people without health coverage, at a time when the country is still recovering from the coronavirus pandemic.
The vote sends a very clear message to legislators and Republican states, who continue to question the law, more than ten years after it was passed. A project that began with a lot of popular opposition and from which the Republicans made their own crusade, but which has been gaining respect and prestige among citizens due to the large number of people who were able to access the health system, of which up to then they were excluded.
To defend that the rule was unconstitutional, the Republican plaintiffs argued that Congress in 2017 eliminated the economic penalty derived from the lack of mandatory insurance. And that for that reason a health law that required having insurance did not comply with the Constitution. With its decision, the court certifies that Obamacare is a mandatory law.
In that 2017, Republican John McCain staged one of the most theatrical moments lived in the Senate. The late Arizona senator voted to move to the final vote to overturn Barack Obama’s health care reform, one of the few achievements of his two terms as president. But when his name came up to speak out in favor of repealing the Trumpists’ black beast, McCain dealt a severe blow to the Trump Administration. The prisoner of war merely made a gesture as dramatic as that made by Roman emperors when they sent someone to be eaten by lions. McCain raised his right hand and directed his thumb toward the ground. With that thumb down, Obamacare was already touched to death.
The Donald Trump Administration made Obamacare its black beast and tried to repeal the rule without reaching a consensus on an alternative. On the contrary, President Joe Biden, fresh from his two summits in Europe, described this Thursday the Supreme Court’s verdict as a “great victory” and promised to work with Congress to “expand access to quality and affordable medical care. ”. It is estimated, according to CNN, that since the Democrat came to power one million people have joined the Obama health law. “Today’s decision is a great victory for all Americans who benefit from this groundbreaking law,” Biden said in a statement. Now, the law “is stronger than ever,” he said.
The former vice president of Obama borrowed the principles of his predecessor by declaring that the decision of the highest authority brings the country closer to “complying with the moral obligation that, in the United States, health care is a right and not a privilege ”. The looseness of the vote – which only had the dissenting votes of Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch out of a total of nine – makes it possible to trust that the future of Obama’s health law will be sanctioned forever. On this occasion, in addition, the sentence received greater support than in the appeals filed in 2012 and 2015.
Challenges to Obamacare have seen some success in the lower courts. A federal judge in Texas declared the law invalid although he postponed enforcement of the ruling until the case was resolved in the Court of Appeals. In 2019, the New Orleans court also agreed that the obligation to purchase health insurance was unconstitutional, but it refused to rule on the rest of the articles of the rule and asked the lower court to reconsider the issue in more detail.
Those who would have lost the most with the cancellation of Obamacare would have been low-income adults, who thanks to the law were able to access Medicaid (the federal and state health insurance program for low-income people), after most of the States will expand their programs to include them. Millions of Americans have also reportedly lost their private health insurance, including young people who are allowed by law to be included in their parents’ insurance until they turn 26, and families with modest incomes who can receive help to pay for their health insurance each month. .
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.