Staff Contact: Jane Drummond
The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the multi-state attempt to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. The suit claims the 2017 repeal of the individual penalty for failing to carry insurance undermines the constitutionality of the entire law. The argument builds on the Court’s 2012 decision upholding the individual mandate as a tax. Absent the penalty, the plaintiffs claim the individual mandate no longer can be deemed a tax and is therefore unconstitutional. Because the mandate was key to ensuring affordability of coverage, they argue the entire statute is void. The court’s liberal justices indicated the case should be dismissed. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kavanaugh expressed skepticism that the entire law should be struck down, noting the judicial preference for severing unconstitutional provisions of law when possible.