WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, remains valid, rejecting a challenge from several GOP states that a change in the law made it unconstitutional.
The court ruled in a 7-2 vote and said those challenging the law did not do enough showing that the law harmed them. Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, two of former President Donald Trump’s appointees to the court supported the decision. His other pick, Neil Gorsuch, did not.
Justice Samuel Alito was the other vote against the decision.
Texas along with 17 other Republican led states challenged that Obamacare’s requirement for nearly all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay an income tax penalty is unconstitutional.
The plaintiffs claim that without the penalty the act’s minimum essential coverage requirement is unconstitutional,” Breyer wrote. “We do not reach these questions of the act’s validity, however, for Texas and the other plaintiffs in this suit lack the standing necessary to raise them.”
President Joe Biden called the court’s decision “a major victory for all Americans” in a statement released by the White House shortly after the decision was handed down.
“After more than a decade of attacks on the Affordable Care Act through the Congress and the courts, today’s decision — the third major challenge to the law that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected — it is time move forward and keep building on this landmark law,” Biden said in a statement.
Former President Barack Obama, who first introduced the law, celebrated the news with a statement.
“This ruling reaffirms what we have long known to be true: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay,” he said. “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.”