ACA_Affordable Care Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, is a United States federal statute enacted by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.

The week after the November 3 election, the Supreme Court is set to hear arguments about the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Before you cast your ballot, here are a few things you should know about your health insurance and what is at stake. 

Al Tompkins, senior faculty with the Poynter Institute, offered the following as a part of his daily COVID-19 briefing for journalists, “The main issue is the constitutionality of the act after Congress eliminated the tax penalty for skipping health insurance. The Trump administration joined a coalition of states that said the entire act should be repealed.”

These seven voting points were compiled from various sources, including Tompkins’ daily briefing, the Kaiser Family Foundation, and reporting from established news organizations. 

 The points

  • The constitutionality of the ACA 

  • Will the Court preserve Obamacare and get rid of the individual mandate that penalizes taxpayers for refusing to purchase health insurance?

  • With the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, there is the possibility of a 4-4 split on the case

  • If Democrats win the presidency and the Senate, Congress has the ability to pass legislation that negates any ruling by the Court to abolish the ACA - they will have an ability to work around the ruling 

  • The Court generally rules on fall cases in the spring or summer of the following year

Two important things to consider: If the ACA is repealed, then there is the possibility of millions of Americans losing their health care, and the current administration has not presented a plan to replace it. And, there is a possibility that the November election will be challenged, which presents an additional challenge of how and when to replace Justice Ginsburg.

Three days after the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Trump administration has already alerted the public to a plan to replace her, which is backed by Mitch McConnell. 

The resources 

The Kaiser Family Foundation outlines the impact of ACA going before the courts 

Politico: “Ginsburg’s death leaves Obamacare in greater danger than ever

Here is a chart of how justices have sided on previous cases involving the Affordable Care Act (provided by Al Tompkins, Poynter Institute)

Effect of the Affordable Care Act on Minnesotans (Ballotpedia)

The Supreme Court is set to hear other cases apart from ACA such as climate change, abortion, and immigration. The immigration case could repeal the Dream Act

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