By Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
In a significant victory for the Biden-Harris administration and most Americans who depend on affordable health care, the Supreme Court rejected the latest challenge to President Obama’s signature legislation.
The latest challenge stemmed from whether the individual mandate could be cut from the rest of the law or whether the justices should strike down the entire law.
Former President Trump had made it his mission to get rid of the law, which has allowed millions of Americans to afford health care, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic.
The court ruled 7-2, striking down a lower court ruling and noting that Texas and nearly 20 other Republican-led states did not have standing.
The court ruled 7-2, with Justice Stephen Breyer writing for the majority, striking down a lower court ruling, saying the plaintiffs — Texas and 17 other GOP-led states — did not have the standing to sue.
“We conclude that the plaintiffs in this suit failed to show a concrete, particularized injury fairly traceable to the defendants’ conduct in enforcing the specific statutory provision they attack as unconstitutional,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote.
“They have failed to show that they have the standing to attack as unconstitutional the Act’s minimum essential coverage provision. Therefore, we reverse the Fifth Circuit’s judgment in respect to standing, vacate the judgment, and remand the case with instructions to dismiss,” the Justice continued.
“We do not reach these questions of the Act’s validity … for Texas and the other plaintiffs in this suit lack the standing necessary to raise them.
Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented.
Reportedly, 31 million Americans have health coverage connected to the Affordable Care Act—known as Obamacare.
Also, 54 million people with preexisting conditions are covered because of the health care law.
“Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Again,” Obama said in a statement.
“This ruling reaffirms what we have long known to be true: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. The principle of universal coverage has been established, and 31 million people now have access to care through the law we passed—with millions more who can no longer be denied coverage or charged more because of a preexisting condition.
“Now we need to build on the Affordable Care Act and continue to strengthen and expand it. That’s what President Biden has done through the American Rescue Plan, giving more families the peace of mind they deserve. And because he extended the special enrollment period until August 15th, anyone who needs coverage can go to healthcare.gov and sign up.”