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20 States Ask Supreme Court to Rule Quickly on ObamaCare

House, Democratic attorneys general request a decision before the elections
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2020 5:15 PM CST
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is leading the legal defense of the Affordable Care Act.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

(Newser) – A group of states whose governments are run by Democrats has joined the House in asking the Supreme Court to take up a lawsuit seeking to cancel ObamaCare immediately. The Democrats want the case decided before the elections in November, which would mean the court would have to issue a ruling before its session ends in June. That would be an unusually quick resolution, the Hill reports. "We're asking the Supreme Court to swiftly resolve this repeal lawsuit for the sake of saving lives and ending uncertainty in our healthcare system," said Xavier Becerra, California's attorney general and leader of the legal defense of the Affordable Care Act. The House and 20 states' attorneys general filed similar briefs with the court on Friday.

An appeals court threw out the law's individual mandate provision and told a lower court to decide how much of the ACA to keep. That makes it likely that the court battle will go on long past the elections unless the Supreme Court intervenes. That doesn't happen often, per Politico, but the states told the court that otherwise, patients' care, as well as the health care industry, will be hurt by the uncertainty. The suit, which is backed by the Trump administration, already has been in the court system for nearly two years. Four justices would have to agree for the court to expedite the case. The consensus among both parties' legal experts, per the Hill, is that Democrats have a weak case in their Friday brief, but that in the end, ObamaCare will be left standing. (More than 8 million people signed up for coverage in 2020.)

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