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Trump May Have Been ObamaCare's Savior

SCOTUS ruling suggests law is here to stay
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2021 6:36 AM CDT

(Newser) – ObamaCare survived another Supreme Court challenge Thursday, with justices, including two of the three appointed by former President Trump, upholding the law in a 7-2 ruling that declared 19 GOP-led states and two individuals did not have standing to challenge the law. That's the biggest margin of victory for the health care law in the three SCOTUS challenges it has faced, and analysts say it appears increasingly safe from Republican attempts to overturn it in the courts. Some takeaways:

  • Trump—ObamaCare's savior? Philip Bump at the Washington Post argues that Trump's failed efforts to dismantle the law helped boost its popularity by raising awareness of what it actually contained. Republicans did manage to strip the law of the individual mandate, but instead of collapsing as predicted, ObamaCare survived "unburdened" by the unpopular mandate, he writes. Click for the full piece.

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  • "The war appears to be over." ObamaCare advocates—and some Republican lawmakers—say the law appears to be here to stay, though further efforts at repeal have not been ruled out, the Hill reports. "The war appears to be over and the Affordable Care Act has won,” says Stan Dorn at the health care advocacy group Families USA.
  • Republicans switch focus. The AP spoke to more than a dozen GOP lawmakers after Thursday's decision and none of them suggested taking another shot at repeal. "Just practically speaking, you need 60 votes in a Republican Senate, a Republican president, right?" said Sen. Bill Cassidy. "And we've tried that and were unable to accomplish it." Instead, the lawmakers called for controlling health care costs and other changes.
  • The battles to come. The ruling has ended the "era of existential fights" for ObamaCare, according to the New York Times, but there will be more health care battles to come. Many Democrats now want to expand coverage, but the party is divided over proposals and whatever steps they take in that direction, potentially including lowering the age for Medicare eligibility or adding a public option, will face firm opposition from Republicans and industry groups.
  • Ruling "allows all parties to move on." Health care strategist Chris Jennings, who has advised the last three Democratic administrations, tells Politico that the ruling is "significant in that it allows all parties to move on, to either build up or tear down." The courts, he says, "are basically saying: Stop it, move on, you have every ability if you want to alter this bill, but do it by the books."
  • Obama speaks out. "This ruling reaffirms what we have long known to be true: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay," the former president tweeted. He added: "Now we need to build on the Affordable Care Act and continue to strengthen and expand it."
(Read more ObamaCare stories.)

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