WASHINGTON, D.C. (CNN) – As the pandemic rages, a crucial case is facing the United States Supreme Court.
The highest court in the land heard oral arguments Tuesday on the future of Obamacare. If struck down millions of Americans could be affected.
This time, there’s a 6-3 conservative majority from newly-seated Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who, before her time on the bench, had been critical of previous rulings.
At stake is health coverage for more than 20 million Americans along with coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and coverage for those who benefit from Medicaid expansion programs and ACA exchanges.
At issue is whether or not a 2017 congressional amendment zeroing out the tax penalty for the individual mandate coverage invalidates the entire law.
Attorneys for the Trump administration and other Republican state attorneys general say it does, while attorneys for the Democratic-led House of Representatives argue the law can function with or without the individual mandate, an argument that both Chief Justice John Roberts and Trump appointee Brett Kavanaugh seemed to side with.
The court on Tuesday signaled the Affordable Care Act will likely remain in place, even if they rule against the individual mandate. The hearing comes at a critical time as the nation continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic