The federal government, which, in the Trump administration, was supporting Texas and several other states that are seeking to have the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) struck down by the Supreme Court, stated yesterday that it has changed its position. In a letter to the Court, lawyers for the government said that following the change in administration, the Department of Justice has reconsidered, and its position is that the law’s individual mandate – which now carries no penalty for failure to carry health insurance – is constitutional. The government also stated that even if the Court finds that provision of the ACA to be unconstitutional, it is “severable” from the rest of the law, meaning the entire rest of the ACA does not have to fall along with the mandate.
The federal government’s opinion is now consistent with the position of California and the other states defending the law, as well as the position of the Center for Medicare Advocacy and numerous other organizations and individuals who filed amicus briefs urging the Supreme Court to uphold the law. It is also consistent with the opinion of the American people, who have made it clear that the ACA should and must remain the law of the land. The Center has highlighted the devastating effect that striking down the ACA would have on Medicare beneficiaries and the Medicare program itself. A decision from the Supreme Court is expected by the end of June.
February 11, 2021 – A. Bers