The US Supreme Court has dismissed a lawsuit against former President Barack Obama’s health care reform known as “Obamacare”.
USA- The Supreme Court in Washington threw down the lawsuit of several conservatively governed states today with a majority of seven to two judges’ votes. The constitutional judges ruled that the states are not entitled to sue. This means that millions of people keep the health insurance they received thanks to Obamacare.
The decision of the conservatively dominated Supreme Court is also a subsequent defeat for ex-President Donald Trump: his administration had joined the lawsuit against the health reform. During his tenure, Trump had tried in vain to bring down his predecessor’s historic reform, which has now given around 31 million citizens access to health insurance.
The proceedings concerned the question of whether the health reform adopted in 2010 is completely invalid because a key element was de facto reversed. Specifically, it was about the compulsory insurance known as “individual mandate”: the reform obliged most US citizens to take out health insurance under the threat of a fine. This element was particularly controversial – and was at the center of a first Supreme Court ruling on “Obamacare” in 2012.
Republicans canceled fine
At the time, the court ruled with a narrow majority that the health reform was constitutional because the fine could be understood as a tax. The Congress, which is allowed to raise taxes, has not exceeded its powers because of this.
In 2017, however, Trump’s Republicans canceled the fine that threatened not taking out insurance. Several republican-ruled states subsequently argued that with the expiry of the fine, the compulsory insurance would be unconstitutional – and the entire reform would become obsolete. In late 2018, a Conservative federal judge in the state of Texas endorsed this view.
The case eventually ended up in the Supreme Court, which held a hearing on the matter in November. The constitutional judges showed little inclination to delete the entire health reform. Supporters of the reform feared that the Supreme Court, with its conservative majority built under Trump, could overthrow the reform.