LISTEN: Supreme Court weighs future of Affordable Care Act

National & World

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) —The Supreme Court is hearing arguments Tuesday in a Republican-led effort to strike down the Affordable Care Act.

The argument from President Donald Trump’s administration and conservative states against the health care law is that the 10-year-old statute was rendered unconstitutional in its entirety when Congress dialed down a zero penalty on those remaining uninsured.

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to speak Tuesday afternoon about what’s at stake if the act is eliminated, as well as his health plan moving forward.

If the act were to be repealed, up to 20 million Americans could lose their health insurance and insurers could once again refuse to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

Since his first campaign for office, Trump has promised quality health care at affordable prices, lower prescription drug costs and more consumer choice. He announced executive orders calling for an end to surprise medical bills and declaring it the policy of the U.S. government to protect people with preexisting conditions, even if the ACA is struck down. However, protections for preexisting conditions are already the law, and Trump would have to go to Congress to cement a new policy through legislation.

Much of the focus during the upcoming hearings will be on newly appointed justice Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett is one of three appointees of President Donald Trump who will be weighing in on the law popularly known as “Obamacare.”

Last month, Senate Democrats grilled now justice Barrett about how she would rule and if pressure from the president would impact her decision.

The Supreme Court previously upheld Obamacare 5-4 in a 2012 ruling. It rejected another challenge by 6-3 in 2015.

Barrett in the past criticized those two rulings in academic journals. Democrats opposing her nomination said she might vote to strike down Obamacare.

The Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments at 9 a.m. CST.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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