The Supreme Court Just Voted to Uphold Obamacare

The justices dismissed a Republican lawsuit for lacking standing.

Graeme Sloan/Sipa USA/AP

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.

Obamacare is here to stay.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that the Republican attorneys general suing to overturn the Affordable Care Act lacked standing. It was a 7-2 ruling, with only Justices Neil Gorsuch and Samuel Alito dissenting. The ruling means the Affordable Care Act is upheld, preserving the landmark health care law and ensuring that millions of Americans will be able to keep their insurance plans.

The case had centered around a GOP argument that the effective lack of an individual mandate—the financial penalty for going without health insurance, which Trump’s 2017 tax cuts set to $0—invalidated the rest of the ACA. While legal experts have widely derided the argument that the individual mandate is inseverable from the rest of the legislation, health care advocates had feared that a Supreme Court with three Trump-appointed justices would strike down the law that the former president hoped to “end.” Instead, they dismissed the lawsuit without examining the merits.

The Supreme Court had voted to uphold major portions of the ACA twice before. In a 6-3 ruling in 2015, the Court agreed with the Obama administration that the law permitted the federal government to subsidize insurance premiums in every state. In a 5-4 ruling in 2012, it found that the individual mandate was constitutional because it could reasonably be considered a tax. That decision was thrown into confusion when a federal appeals court threw out the mandate in 2019. But, as the justices ultimately determined, the law still stands—and the 23 million people currently covered by ACA plans can breathe a sigh of relief.

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate