Justices - Chief Justice Roberts, Kavenaugh, Breyer, Sotomayor, Kagen seem to want to keep ACA!
The bulk of the Affordable Care Act, the sprawling 2010 health care law that is President Barack Obama’s defining domestic legacy, appeared likely to survive its latest encounter with the Supreme Court in arguments on Tuesday.
It was not clear whether the court would strike down the so-called individual mandate, which was rendered toothless in 2017 after Congress zeroed out the penalty for failing to obtain insurance.
But at least five justices, including two members of the court’s conservative majority, indicated that they were not inclined to strike down the balance of the law. In legal terms, they said the mandate was severable from the rest of the law.
“It does seem fairly clear that the proper remedy would be to sever the mandate provision and leave the rest of the law in place,” said Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made a similar point. “Congress left the rest of the law intact when it lowered the penalty to zero,” he said.
Tens of millions of Americans gained insurance coverage under the 2010 law, which includes popular provisions on guaranteed coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, emergency care, prescription drugs and maternity care. Republican state officials, backed by the Trump administration, say that a key provision of the law is unconstitutional, and that this means the whole law must fall.