Supreme Court set to take up Obamacare individual mandate case

While Democratic socialist candidates duke it out over universal healthcare, former President Barack Obama’s attempt at government-provided healthcare is shaping up to take a devastating blow.

On Monday, NBC News reported that the Supreme Court has decided to hear the Affordable Care Act individual mandate challenge during its next term, with a ruling on the pivotal legislation expected to be handed down in 2021. 

Avoiding election year

It would seem as though the Supreme Court purposely ensured the upcoming Obamacare battle could not be used as a political weapon during the 2020 presidential campaign.

This case has been proposed to the court before, but it was sent back to the lower courts to play out. Democrats wanted the court to hear the challenge this term, which would mean an October decision, making it a contested issue during the election season.

By sending the case back and allowing it to play out in the lower courts, the high court has now been able to delay putting the case on its docket until the fall, meaning a decision on the case would not be reached until well after the election.

This also means Obamacare will be in place for at least one more year.

The mandate

At the heart of the case is the individual mandate that was written into the Affordable Care Act. That mandate financially punished taxpayers who did not have insurance.

The Trump administration almost immediately repealed the mandate when Trump took over the White House. The argument was then taken to court that if the mandate was not constitutional, the entire piece of legislation was unconstitutional since its success depended upon this mandate.

The case first went before a Texas court, where the court agreed that the revised law without the mandate was unconstitutional.

When the case went before an appeals court, the court ruled 2-1 in favor of the decision, but the court also asked the original presiding judge to reconsider trashing the entire piece of legislation.

At that point, Democrats wanted the case to be expedited to the Supreme Court, but the court stated that the case needed to play out per the request of the appeals court before it would consider hearing the case.

The new ruling by the Supreme Court now cancels out that order and the Obamacare challenge has been officially placed on the docket for this coming fall.

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