Until six weeks ago, defenders of the Affordable Care Act could take comfort in some simple math. Five Supreme Court justices who had twice preserved the Obama-era health care law remained on the bench and seemed unlikely votes to dismantle it.
But Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death in mid-September and her replacement by Amy Coney Barrett barely a month later have altered the equation as the court prepares to hear arguments today in the third major legal challenge in the law’s 10-year existence.
Republican attorneys general in 18 states, backed by the Trump administration, are arguing that the whole law should be struck down because of a change made by the Republican-controlled Congress in 2017 that reduced the penalty for not having health insurance to zero.
A court ruling invalidating the entire law would threaten coverage for more than 23 million people. It would wipe away protections for people with preexisting medical conditions, subsidized insurance premiums that make coverage affordable for millions of Americans and an expansion of the Medicaid program that is available to low-income people in most states.
Today on AirTalk, we’re learning more about the Supreme Court’s deliberation over the Affordable Care Act, and what’s at stake. Questions? Give us a call at 866-893-5722.