Texas, Florida do not have standing to challenge Affordable Care Act, U.S. Supreme Court rules

The US Supreme Court ruled Texas does not have standing in a case challenging the Affordable Care Act, dealing the third and latest blow to opponents of the landmark healthcare law.

In a 7-2 decision, The court held that Texas, which had been joined and its lawsuit by Florida did not demonstrate injury as a result of the law and therefore did not have standing to challenge the affordable care act.

“To have standing in federal court you have to allege and injury, here the Supreme Court is saying that Texas and other states you do not have an injury from the affordable care act,” says Anthony Marcum of the R-Street Institute. “The individual mandate, which has been challenged a few times now and recently amended by Congress have a zero dollar penalty, doesn’t injure any of these states that are alleging harm in trying to strike down the ACA.”

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According to the most recent numbers, Florida has more than 2.1 million residents enrolled in the federal insurance exchange through the ACA.  Advocates say not only would those 2.1 million Floridians have been in jeopardy of losing their healthcare coverage but had the Texas lawsuit been successful, protections for people three existing conditions would’ve also been reduced or eliminated.”

“We have seen over and over again how all of the programs and the mechanisms for ensuring access to healthcare at the ACA put in place have been so critical,” says Alison Yager of the Florida Health Justice Project.  “Over the last year and a half in the context of the pandemic the notion that we could just sweep all of that away with the supreme court was truly terrifying.”

In October, Yager’s Group sent a letter to Florida state attorney Ashley Moody asking that Florida withdraw from the Texas lawsuit; the state did not.

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this is the third challenge to the affordable care act since it was signed into law by President Barack Obama.  In 2012 and 2015 the high court upheld the law, experts say this latest decision with two Trump appointees siding with the majority indicates the court may be finished taking up challenges to the law.

" I think it’s fair to say this is the last of the affordable care act trilogy that we’re going to see at the Supreme Court even Justice Alito mentioned this in his dissent tracing all of this and this does seem like the final significant case and it seems like the Supreme Court itself is ready to move on,” says Marcum.

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