Washington | Another episode of an epic battle: The US Supreme Court on Thursday refused to invalidate Barack Obama’s pioneering health insurance law, leaving health coverage for millions of Americans in place.
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His decision, made by a majority of seven out of nine justices, represents retroactive contempt for former President Donald Trump, who tried by all means to suppress the symbolic law of his predecessor.
This is the third time the court has endorsed this law since it was adopted in 2010. This time, its ruling is based on a procedural argument: According to it, Texas and the other Republican states that appealed to do so were not established. .
Democratic President Joe Biden responded by saying, “It’s a huge victory for Americans,” invoking the formula he dropped during the release of the text and remained on record:It’s a big deal *****».
In action, Joe Biden judged this latest attempt to scrap a device that has proven particularly useful during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a country where health care is expensive.
“The principle of universal coverage was established and now 31 million people can get care thanks to this law,” former President Barack Obama responded, believing that it is now necessary to continue “strengthening and expanding it.”
But for Republicans, “this decision doesn’t change the fact that Obama didn’t keep his promises,” especially with regard to lower costs. House party leaders added in a statement that the law “harms hard-working families”.
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In its original form, the Affordable Care Act, known as “Obamacare,” required all Americans, even those in good health, to purchase insurance under pain of financial penalties, and forced companies to insure all potential customers, no matter who. Health status.
This reform made it possible to provide health coverage to millions of Americans who had not previously had it and to protect millions more who suffer from chronic diseases.
But Republicans have long viewed compulsory insurance as an abuse of government power, and they have continually struggled to bring down the law.
Their first appeal was against this “individual mandate”. It was ratified by the Supreme Court in 2012, ruling that fines could be considered taxes and justifying state intervention.
When he got to the White House, Donald Trump tried to repeal the law in Congress, but he suffered a severe setback. However, Republican elected officials were able to amend it in 2017 and lower the fines for no insurance to zero.
Several republican states subsequently introduced new legal remedies, arguing that the law was no longer in force. In December 2018, a federal judge in Texas agreed with them: “The foundation stone” for the building that fell, and the entire law is unconstitutional, he decided.
This is the decision that the Supreme Court overturned on Thursday. “We have not decided the question of the validity of the law, but Texas and other plaintiffs are not qualified to raise that,” Progressive Judge Stephen Breyer wrote on behalf of the majority of his colleagues.
“On a mission”
Two of the three judges appointed by Donald Trump, including Amy Connie Barrett, are part of that majority, which is also a setback for the former president.
The conservative judge, who was confirmed in the race ahead of the presidential election, was suspected by the left of her selection because, in the past, she criticized the 2015 Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare.
She said she “wanted to get rid of” that law, and accused Joe Biden during the confirmation process. “I am neither hostile” to this law, nor “on a mission to destroy it,” she has defended herself.
Already in December, the new court had already disappointed Donald Trump by refusing to nullify his presidential defeat.