The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a Republican bid backed by former President Donald Trump’s administration to invalidate Obamacare.
The court by its ruling preserved the landmark healthcare law for the third time since its 2010 enactment.
The 7-2 ruling declared that Texas and other challengers had no legal standing to file their lawsuit seeking to nullify a law, formally called the Affordable Care Act, that has enabled millions of Americans to obtain medical coverage either through public programs or private insurers.
Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer authored the decision.
The justices did not decide broader legal questions raised in the case about whether a key Obamacare provision was unconstitutional and, if so, whether the rest of the statute should be struck down.
The provision, called the “individual mandate,” originally required Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a financial penalty.
“Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision is a major victory for all Americans benefiting from this groundbreaking and life-changing law,” said Democratic President Joe Biden, whose administration opposed the lawsuit.
With three major challenges to Obamacare now having been resolved by the justices, Biden added, “it is time to move forward and keeping building on this landmark law.”
Biden also encouraged more Americans to use Obamacare to obtain coverage.
Polling data has shown that Obamacare has become increasing popular among Americans, including Republicans.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican who led the challenge, vowed to continue to fight Obamacare.
The individual mandate, Paxton wrote on Twitter, “was unconstitutional when it was enacted and it is still unconstitutional.”
The law was the signature domestic policy achievement of Democratic former President Barack Obama, who Biden served with as vice president.
“This ruling reaffirms what we have long known to be true: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay,” Obama said.
Breyer wrote that none of the challengers, including Texas and 17 other states and the individual plaintiffs, could trace a legal injury to the individual mandate, partly because a Republican-backed tax law signed by Trump in 2017 had wiped out the financial penalty.
“Unsurprisingly, the states have not demonstrated that an unenforceable mandate will cause their residents to enroll in valuable benefits programs that they would otherwise forgo,” Breyer wrote.