The Supreme Court Will Hear a Case to Decide the Fate of Obamacare

The court might consider the case shortly before the 2020 election.

Alex Edelman/Zuma

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

The Supreme Court announced Wednesday that it will hear a case that could decide the fate of the Affordable Care Act. The timing for when oral arguments will be held was not announced, but it is possible that the court will hear the case next fall, shortly ahead of the 2020 election (though a ruling likely wouldn’t be released until spring or summer 2021).

In December, a federal appeals court found the individual mandate—the part of Obamacare requiring uninsured Americans to pay a yearly penalty—unconstitutional, and left the rest of the law in doubt, sending the case back down to a lower court to decide if the entirety of the ACA, including provisions like protections for preexisting conditions, should also be wiped out. The case against the ACA was brought by Republican attorneys general, who argued that the law should be struck down after Republicans in Congress lowered the penalty for the individual mandate to $0.

That broader attack on Obamacare was one the Trump administration eventually adopted, so Democrats have urged the Supreme Court to hear the case quickly in order to keep the president’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act in the public eye ahead of his reelection campaign.

Until the Supreme Court rules on the case, Obamacare remains the law of the land, and people with health plans from the ACA’s marketplaces are still covered.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate