Trump Administration Petitions Supreme Court to Strike Down Affordable Care Act

At the eleventh hour on Thursday evening, the Trump Administration filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety is unconstitutional after Congress eliminated the individual tax penalty in late 2017. In the brief, Solicitor General Noel Francisco stated that all other remaining provisions of the ACA are unable to be separated from the individual mandate penalty, declaring that “the entire ACA thus must fall with the individual mandate.”  

Recall, the ACA case before the U.S. Supreme Court began when a coalition of 20 states, led by Texas, argued for the elimination of the entire ACA after Congress eliminated the tax penalty. The Texas coalition case was consolidated with another case brought by 17 states, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, seeking to protect the sweeping health reform law. 

California Attorney General Becerra in a statement noted, “The ACA has been life-changing and now through this pandemic, we can all see the value in having greater access to quality healthcare at affordable prices. Now is not the time to rip away our best tool to address very real and very deadly health disparities in our communities.” The Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans maintain their intent to “repeal and replace” the ACA but have yet to offer such legislation to replace the act should it be found unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

Since its inception, the ACA has covered over 20 million Americans and sharply reduced figures of uninsured individuals. The Supreme Court is expected to take up the case as early as October.