The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against Republican-led states, including Alabama, which sought to overturn the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s healthcare law known as Obamacare.
Supreme Court Justices in a 7-2 vote rejected the challenge from 17 states, led by Texas, and two individuals that claimed the law is unconstitutional. The justices ruled that the plaintiffs has no standing to sue.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced in March 2018 that Alabama has joined in that suit, which centered largely on the law’s individual mandate, which required people to buy health insurance or face fines. Congress later repealed the individual mandate, but the suit alleged the law itself should be ruled unconstitutional due to the mandate.
Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett, two of President Donald Trump’s three Supreme Court appointees, voted with the majority, while the third, Neil Gorsuch, sided with the plaintiffs.
“Today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision is a major victory for all Americans benefitting from this groundbreaking and life-changing law,” President Joe Biden said in a statement, according to The Washington Post. “It is a victory for more than 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions and millions more who were in immediate danger of losing their health care in the midst of a once-in-a-century pandemic.” Biden, noting that the case was the third major challenge to Obamacare, said “it is time move forward and keep building on this landmark law.”
In a statement after the ruling, 34 patient groups, which include the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association, said patients across the country and breathing a sigh of relief.
“For years, they’ve faced uncertainty about the future of the landmark law that’s enabled millions of people with pre-existing conditions to obtain comprehensive, more affordable health coverage that would have otherwise been out of reach. Patients now know with certainty: the critical protections they rely upon are here to stay,” the statement reads.
Thursday’s ruling against the attempt to dismantle the ACA was the third brought before the U.S. Supreme Court.