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Capitol Correspondence - 08.25.20

Supreme Court to Hear Affordable Care Act Case After Election

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ANCOR has been following reports on legal challenges to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because the ACA offers protections for pre-existing conditions. Insurers consider intellectual / developmental disabilities to be pre-existing conditions.

As reported by CNN:

“The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the future of the Affordable Care Act on November 10, exactly one week after the presidential election, it announced Wednesday.

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In 2012, Chief Justice John Roberts cast the key vote in the 5-4 decision upholding the Affordable Care Act’s holding that the individual mandate was valid under Congress’ taxing power.

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In 2017, the Republican-led Congress cut the tax penalty for those who lacked insurance to zero as part of the year-end tax overhaul.

Texas and other Republican-led states sued, arguing that since the mandate was no longer tied to a specific tax penalty, it had lost its legal underpinning. They also argued that because the individual mandate was intertwined with a multitude of other provisions, the entire law should fall, including protections for people with preexisting conditions.

The Trump administration filed briefs siding with Texas for the most part, although they have made a relatively new argument that the entire law should fall but the ruling should only apply to the 18 states that brought the challenge.

In December, a federal appeals court held that the individual mandate was unconstitutional. But critically, the court punted on whether the rest of the massive law — even provisions unrelated to the mandate — could remain on the books. Over 98 pages, the 2-1 appeals court asked a district court to review that issue — infuriating supporters of the law. They contend the two Republican appointees in the majority were attempting to delay a decision that could gut the law until after the election.

California and other Democratic-led states have asked the Supreme Court to step in this term to review the decision.”