The latest and possibly the last serious effort to cripple Obamacare through the courts has just failed.Republicans on Capitol Hill and in red states nationwide were so sure that their right-wing allies on the U.S. Supreme Court would do whatever it took to undermine and destroy the Affordable Care Act, even if it meant damaging the Court’s reputation. Yet … that didn’t happen. Justice and progressive values won the day. The U.S. economy won’t have to suffer again under ever-escalating health-care costs and Americans won’t be forced once more to sell off their futures in order to obtain health insurance. It’s a good day, indeed.
On Thursday, for the second time in three years, the Supreme Court rejected a major lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act--thereby preserving the largest expansion in health coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid half a century ago.
The stakes of the case, King v. Burwell, were enormous. Had the plaintiffs prevailed, millions of people who depend upon the Affordable Care Act for insurance would have lost financial assistance from the federal government. Without that money, most of them would have had to give up coverage altogether. But two of the court’s conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, joined the court’s four liberals in rejecting the lawsuit in a 6-3 decision. Roberts delivered the opinion for the majority.
The decision is a major defeat for conservatives, who have been trying to wipe Obamacare off the books ever since its enactment in 2010. The sweeping reform law, a key component of President Barack Obama’s legacy, now appears to be secure at least through the 2016 elections. Its fate beyond that will depend on who becomes president next year--and whether Republicans in Congress are willing to keep fighting for repeal.
READ MORE: “They Won’t Admit It, but Republicans Dodged a Health Care Bullet,” by Steve Benen (The Maddow Blog).