The Trump administration wants the Supreme Court to hold off on any rulings regarding the Affordable Care Act while lower court challenges continue.
Though it continues to believe that Obamacare should be dismantled, the administration is wary of attempting to replace the unpopular health care law during an election cycle.
Republican officials argued in Texas v. Azar that Obamacare needs to be struck down because of the 2017 GOP tax overhaul, which directly impacted Obamacare by eliminating the “healthcare law’s fine on the uninsured,” according to the Washington Examiner.
Without that fine, they argued, the law is unsustainable.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found the law mandating individual health insurance unconstitutional but said the remainder of the law should remain in force pending further lower court review.
In the decision, Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod wrote that the mandate on Obamacare was unconstitutional because “it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power.”
If the court complies with the administration’s wishes, then the Republicans will be relieved of the responsibility to find a replacement healthcare option while balancing campaign responsibilities between now and November.
“As the case comes to this court, no lower-court ruling exists on severability or the appropriate remedy. Far from being urgently needed, this court’s review thus would be premature,” Solicitor General Noel Francisco wrote in a digital filing with the Supreme court.
Francisco added, “absent any operative ruling invalidating the ACA’s other provisions in the interim, the accelerated review petitioners see is unnecessary.”
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The Examiner reported that the administration argued that there is “no present, real world emergency,” so a decision should not be made by the Supreme Court until the lower courts have rendered their decisions.
In addition, a coalition of Republican attorneys wrote in a filing that, “there may come a day when this Court’s review is appropriate, but it is after the issue of severability is decided. There is no emergency justifying that departure from the ordinary course. The district court has stayed its judgement, and that stay remains in place today. If this were really an emergency, petitioners would not have waited 16 days to bring it to this Court’s attention,” The Hill reported.
Unsurprisingly, Democrats disagree.
Democrats want SCOTUS to rule before the 2020 election, in hopes of moving the health care discussion away from unpopular socialist proposals like “Medicare for All” and toward the future of some of the more popular aspects of Obamacare, such as coverage for pre-existing conditions, the Examiner reported.
“[T]he law remains too much in limbo for patients and healthcare providers,” they have claimed.
A decision by the Supreme Court would like drop just prior the 2020 election.
Legal experts expect the Supreme Court to wait until after the election to review the case, The Hill reported.
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