In a 7-2 decision on Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of keeping the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” in place.
In this latest decision, the Supreme Court held that the plaintiffs did not have the legal standing to challenge the law according to the ruling.
“Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision is a major victory for all Americans benefitting from this groundbreaking and life-changing law,” President Joe Biden said in a statement on Thursday. “It is a victory for more than 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and millions more who were in immediate danger of losing their health care in the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic.”
While the Affordable Care Act is still intact for now, Republican leaders, such as Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, remain critical of the decision and plan to continue to discuss their policy concerns in Congress.
“Every American’s health care has been harmed by Obamacare,” Barrasso said, according to The New York Times. “Democrats keep pouring money into Obamacare instead of fixing the many problems facing patients and health care providers.”
In case you are unfamiliar with the Affordable Care Act, it was passed on March 23, 2010 during the Obama administration and has been a topic of contention ever since.
So far, approximately 31 million people have gained health care coverage through this law, which included the expansion of Medicaid to low-income adults.
One of its most notable aspects is its strong protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
While this latest challenge has been dismissed by the Supreme Court, it is likely not the end of the conversation regarding the existence of the Affordable Care Act. But, this decision does signal a growing difficulty for Republicans as it was the most lopsided vote yet by the Supreme Court on this issue.
For now, the focus seems to be on further expanding the reach of the Affordable Care Act, specifically when it comes to the expansion of Medicaid for low-income individuals. In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that making the expansion of Medicaid mandatory for all 50 states was unconstitutional. As of now, there are still 12 states that have not adopted the Medicaid expansion. “With millions of people relying on the Affordable Care Act for coverage, it remains, as ever, a BFD,” Biden tweeted on Thursday. “And it’s here to stay.”