Was SCOTUS right to dismiss challenge to Affordable Care Act?


Fact Box

  • President Obama first signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA or ACA) into law in March 2010.
  • Since the ACA’s inception, many lawsuits have been filed against its constitutional legitimacy, tax concerns, employer mandate concerns, etc. 
  • On Thursday June 17, 2021, the Supreme Court of the United States dismissed a challenge to ACA leaving said “31 million” Americans with health insurance. 
  • According to recent polls, the ACA’s favorability has risen to 54 percent this February and disapproval dropped to 39 percent.

Louis (No)

The Affordable Care Act, otherwise referred to as 'Obama Care,' is a health care reform law that has considerably done more harm than good. Just last week, the Affordable Care Act was the subject of a lawsuit dismissed by the Supreme Court. In fact, this was the third case that was brought to the highest court concerning the law, and each of them were swiftly dismissed. 

These lawsuits revolved around the most controversial aspect of the law, the individual mandate. This is the requirement by law for American's to purchase Obama's mandatory, socialistic-style health care. This, along with heavily regulated markets, applies unnecessary pressures on the consumer. A Kaiser Health Tracking Poll reveals a majority of Americans support the prospect of ending the individual mandate. With the individual mandate being one of the most critical reforms of the Affordable Care Act, it theoretically makes the collective bill unconstitutional.

Several smaller courts, including a Federal Appeals Court, have already ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional. This demonstrates the dysfunctionality of the Supreme Court and its ability to address major arguments made in the lower courts. As defined upon their website, the Supreme Court's primary function reads that 'As the final arbiter of the law, the Court is charged with ensuring the American people the promise of equal justice under law.' Their inability to carefully consider the constitutionality strays away from their main responsibility as the nation's highest court.

Morgan (Yes)

Approximately 23 million Americans receive medical coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Getting rid of the ACA would leave all of those people without health insurance and would make things like screenings and prescription drugs (some of which are necessary for life) much more expensive. Both curative and preventive care would be inaccessible to millions, and this would reflect poorly on our country as a whole.

The Republican politicians who urged the Supreme Court to challenge the Affordable Care Act seem to only be worried about the higher taxes they pay, even though it will help provide healthcare for millions of Americans who benefit from the ACA. This is a selfish concern, and politicians should be more worried about the fact that millions of Americans can't afford healthcare than they should about a tax increase. 

There are very few negatives to the Affordable Care Act. The predominantly negative impacts of the ACA are the increase in taxes that the act creates and the increase in patients that doctors, nurses, and hospitals experience, which many on the Right tend to highlight. However, that means more money in the pockets of hospitals because they're seeing more patients, and the increase in taxes is nothing compared to the help and life-saving medicine it provides families. In addition, while the Affordable Care Act still has an individual mandate, the penalty for the mandate was reduced completely in 2018. However, few negatives are worse than the possibility of millions of Americans remaining uncared for and uninsured.

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