This question has been propelled to the top of the list ever since Trump and McConnell fought to ram through a new Supreme Court nominee weeks ago: Will a 6-3 conservative-led Supreme Court fight to abolish the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? Depending on whether or not you support Obamacare, you might not like the answer. Truth be told, the ACA has been attacked for years, and many GOP government officials have made their distaste for the law very well known.
The moment that Trump made his nomination of Barrett, healthcare stocks began to react volatilely.
Jefferies health care analyst Brian Tanquilut had warned: “It sounds like the Republicans are really gonna push for a Supreme Court nominee approval before the new administration (and) the fear is that the ACA will be probably repealed. I’m not sure that’s necessarily the case, but obviously that’s the fear that’s been baked into the stocks right now.”
Regardless of the outcome of the election, things were never going to get less uncertain than they are right now. There is a small amount of good news. During Obama’s time in office, the GOP members of the Senate made dozens of votes to repeal and replace Obamacare knowing they didn’t have enough votes to get anything done), but once Trump made it into office, and they might have been able to make waves, they stopped holding votes. In other words, it might all have been for show in order to retain the appeal of their constituents.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean a conservative-led Supreme Court won’t do what a conservative-led Senate wasn’t willing to do themselves. But Professor Nicholas Bagley of the University of Michigan Law School acknowledges that the balance of power is shifting so much that no one really knows what will happen.
He said, “If the case gets argued in front of a new Supreme Court with a new justice, the center of gravity and the court will no longer be with Chief Justice Roberts, who has turned away too much stronger challenges to the law. It’ll be with the other conservative justices.”
Democrats need to start winning over “purple” states like Texas if they want to cement their chances of winning state, local, and federal elections over the long-term — as doing so is the only way to ensure that civil rights and well-liked healthcare programs (like the ACA) stay in place for years to come. Even should Democrats continue winning elections, though, the Supreme Court is still lopsided in favor of conservative voices, which means that the ACA remains in a state of constant peril for years to come.
Texas Senator John Cornyn made his opposition to the ACA clear weeks ago during a press conference at City Hall in Dallas, even though he admitted that he favored coverage based on preexisting conditions. To keep the ACA safe, officials like him need to continue to be kept away from higher office.
A ruling five years ago upheld many core tenets of the ACA: