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Analysis

SCOTUS Schedules ACA Oral Arguments for Nov. 10

By John Commins  
   August 19, 2020

The consolidated California v. Azar and Texas v. Azar will be heard one week after the presidential election, but a ruling is not expected until June.

The U.S. Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for November 10 in a multistate lawsuit that will determine the future of the Affordable Care Act.

The nation's highest court scheduled one hour of oral arguments in the consolidated California v. Azar and Texas v. Azar lawsuits, but a ruling is not expected until next June at the earliest.

The plaintiffs in both cases are asking the justices to rule on the constitutionality of the individual mandate without a tax mandate, and whether the mandate is severable, and the rest of the law can remain in place.

In December, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the ACA's individual mandate was unconstitutional but remanded the case to a district court that had ruled the entire law was unconstitutional.

The 18 states hoping to have the ACA tossed are led by Texas Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton.

California Democratic Attorney General Xavier Becerra, lead plaintiff among 20 states and the District of Columbia that hope to save the ACA, had asked the high court for an expedited hearing.

Becerra said Wednesday "it makes no sense" that "President (Donald) Trump and 18 states have decided to go all the way to the Supreme Court to rip away the Affordable Care Act at a time when our nation is suffering the worst pandemic we've seen in more than a century."

"We will be at the Supreme Court to lead the argument to save affordable healthcare, and with it, the lives of countless loved ones," Becerra said.

ACA backers say the program protects 133 million people with pre-existing conditions and provides health insurance for 20 million people.

“We will be at the Supreme Court to lead the argument to save affordable healthcare, and with it, the lives of countless loved ones”

John Commins is a content specialist and online news editor for HealthLeaders, a Simplify Compliance brand.


KEY TAKEAWAYS

Democratic states that support the ACA had asked SCOTUS for an expedited hearing.

The plaintiffs in both cases are asking the justices to rule on the constitutionality of the individual mandate without a tax mandate, and whether the mandate is severable from the rest of the law.

A federal appeals court in December ruled that the ACA's individual mandate was unconstitutional but remanded the case to a district court that had ruled the entire law was unconstitutional.


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