Photo: The firm hands of then Vice-President Joe Biden rest on the shoulders of young Marcelas Owens who is looking on as Pres. Obama signs the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Marcellas’ mother Tiffany lacked health insurance when she died of lung disease. It is a happy twist of fate that expansion of Obamacare for all Americans is now a priority for current President Biden.
The Supreme Court on June 17 decisively rejected the former Trump Republican’s attempt to get rid of what is left of the Affordable Care Act.
Key justices who are considered “conservatives” like Justice Clarence Thomas and Chief Justice John Roberts joined with the current “liberal” in the 7-2 ruling that rejected the Trump-inspired legal suit to have Pres. Obama’s entire health care law thrown out.
Obamacare presently covers about 20 million people and has been in effect now for over 10 years. It is gratifying that there are limits to what the reactionary element in our society can do even with the solid conservative majority on the court. Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were the two justices who voted to end the ACA.
The lawsuit had been lodged by Attorneys General in a number of Republican-controlled states. The court decided that they did not have legal standing to bring their case. This was the third time that the court has saved key portions of the law.
The part of the existing law which was vitally important to minorities was requiring insurance companies to protect people who already had medical problems – known as “pre-existing conditions. That was critical because on average, minority Black and Brown people are more vulnerable to serious chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, and asthma than the rest of the population.
In 2012, the Supreme Court said the ACA was a proper use of the power of Congress power to levy taxes. While the justices said the government could not simply force people to buy insurance, they could tax them more if they failed to have health insurance.
But in 2017, the Republicans in Washington made that provision meaningless by putting the tax at Zero dollars!
President Biden has made improvement of the “Three A’s” of health insurance a top priority of his administration: Making coverage more available, affordable, and applicable for more families. Many of these provisions like streamlining enrollment are under debate in Congress.
But by executive immediately after he entered office, President Bided ordered that families could obtain health coverage during the Covid19 epidemic through August 15. For information on this opportunity, visit the website: