Obamacare Survives Latest Repeal Attempt
This past June, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), often referred to as “Obamacare,” survived a third Republican repeal attempt as the US Supreme Court upheld the landmark 2010 law in an unambiguous 7-2 decision. In response, President Obama tweeted, “This ruling reaffirms what we have long known to be true: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”
The latest Obamacare repeal attempt, California v. Texas, led by a group of Republican states, used the following logic to argue that the law should be struck down: because the Trump tax reform eliminated the law’s “individual mandate” by reducing the tax penalty for Americans who chose to forgo required health insurance to zero, they argued that the law was an improper use of Congress’s taxation powers and accordingly became unconstitutional.
In its June 17 ruling upholding Obamacare, the Supreme Court didn’t touch on the larger point about the constitutionality of the law. Instead, the 7-2 majority opinion concluded that the plaintiff states did not have legal standing to challenge the law because they had failed to show any past or future injury arising from the toothless individual mandate.
A ruling against the law could have been catastrophic for those with pre-existing health conditions. According to recent estimates, had Obamacare been struck down, an additional 21 million Americans could have become uninsured.
While Republicans have been intent for years on overturning President Obama’s legacy, the law’s provision that made it illegal for insurers to refuse coverage or charge more based on pre-existing conditions proved to be popular with most Americans across political divides. That pillar of the law now seems to be enshrined, and as President Obama wrote, here to stay.
Thankfully, for Canadians planning to move to the US, the upholding of the Affordable Care Act guarantees that they will continue to be able to access private US health care regardless of both their age and any pre-existing conditions they may have.
For any questions about obtaining US health care coverage in the context of either moving to or spending time in the US, please contact us to request a consultation.