The Supreme Court Just Voted to Uphold Obamacare

The justices dismissed a Republican lawsuit for lacking standing.

Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA/AP

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

Obamacare is here to stay.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Republican attorneys general suing to overturn the Affordable Care Act lacked standing. It was a 7-2 ruling, with only Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito dissenting. The ruling means the Affordable Care Act is upheld, preserving the landmark health care law and ensuring that millions of Americans will be able to keep their insurance plans.

The case had centered around a GOP argument that the effective lack of an individual mandate—the financial penalty for going without health insurance, which Trump’s 2017 tax cuts set to $0—invalidated the rest of the ACA. While legal experts have widely derided the argument that the individual mandate is inseverable from the rest of the legislation, health care advocates had feared that a Supreme Court with three Trump-appointed justices would strike down the law that the former president hoped to “end.” Instead, they dismissed the lawsuit without examining the merits.

The Supreme Court had voted to uphold major portions of the ACA twice before. In a 6-3 ruling in 2015, the Court agreed with the Obama administration that the law permitted the federal government to subsidize insurance premiums in every state. In a 5-4 ruling in 2012, it found that the individual mandate was constitutional because it could reasonably be considered a tax. That decision was thrown into confusion when a federal appeals court threw out the mandate in 2019. But, as the justices ultimately determined, the law still stands—and the 23 million people currently covered by ACA plans can breathe a sigh of relief.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

payment methods

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2021 demands.

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