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GOP promises it'll keep fighting to end health care for millions after SCOTUS loss

The Supreme Court ruling on Thursday was its third against Republicans’ attempts to overturn Obamacare.

By Emily Singer - June 17, 2021
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Kevin Brady

After the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act for the third time, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC) said Republicans need to look at legislative measures to continue their fight against the law.

Following the 7-2 ruling by the court that a group of Republican-run states were not harmed by Obamacare and thus had no right to sue to overturn it, MSNBC anchor Hallie Jackson asked Mace if this is “the end of the road for the GOP as far as legal challenges to Obamacare.”

Mace replied, “I hope it’s not the end of the road, but we do need to look at legislative options” to deal with “arbitrary, doesn’t-make-sense regulations within Obamacare.” Republicans will “as a next step look at some of the burdensome regulations and repeal some of those,” she said.

The ruling on Thursday was the third time Republicans have failed in their legal attempts to overturn the landmark health care law.

In 2012, the Supreme Court upheld the law, ruling 5-4 that the financial penalty for those who did not purchase health insurance as mandated in it amounted to a tax.

“Because the Constitution permits such a tax, it is not our role to forbid it, or to pass upon its wisdom or fairness,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority.

In 2015, Republicans lost another Supreme Court challenge to the law. If they had been successful, Republicans would have been responsible for nixing nationwide subsidies to help Americans afford health care plans in the ACA marketplace.

The challenge that lost on Thursday was first filed by the state of Texas and was supported by Donald Trump and his administration.

Other Republicans joined Mace in saying they would keep working to repeal Obamacare.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued a statement saying that the ruling “does not weaken Republicans’ resolve” in opposing the law.

Her statement also expressed disappointment in the Supreme Court decision, but also didn’t quite make sense, as she argued that the mandate to purchase health care hurts Americans while at the same time admitting that the mandate no longer exists because Republicans repealed it.

“It’s a shame the highest court in the country ruled today that Americans aren’t harmed by this broken law,” Foxx wrote. “Obamacare’s individual mandate restricts Americans’ freedoms by forcing them to purchase coverage they don’t want and can’t afford. Republicans eliminated the individual mandate penalty because it is harmful to the middle class. Today, the court again missed the mark by ignoring the negative impacts Obamacare and its mandates have on our nation’s health care system.”

Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) said he was “disappointed” with the ruling, but added, “I’m confident we will continue to protect all Americans’ access to health care and fight against any and all of the Democrats’ middle-class taxing burdens.”

Republicans have been saying for more than a decade that they are going to fix health care but have yet to actually say how they would do that.

Donald Trump promised a better plan dozens of times but never delivered. And in 2017, when Republicans had simultaneous control of the White House and both chambers of Congress for the first time since Obamacare passed in 2010, the GOP ran a failed and unpopular attempt to repeal and replace it.

Democrats were able to successfully take back control of the House in 2018 in part by highlighting the GOP’s failed repeal effort.

The law is popular with the public, with 53% of adults saying they have a favorable view of it, according to a tracking poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation published on June 3.

Obamacare has steadily grown in popularity since December 2016, when Trump was first elected and the possibility that Republicans could actually succeed in repealing it became real.

Now, sign-ups for Obamacare insurance plans are on the rise, and the average cost of premiums is down due to the coronavirus relief package Democrats passed in February.

Democrats say the public should not forget that Republicans still want to take their health care away.

“Reminder: for 11 years republicans have relentlessly schemed to destroy the ACA and steal your health care,” Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) tweeted on Thursday. “Do not ever forget it.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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