The Supreme Court has tossed aside what may have been the last major challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate. Rejecting the petition filed by Liberty University, the justices left untouched the decision last May by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. The lower court dismissed the claims made by Liberty, an evangelical Christian school, and two plaintiffs, Michele Waddell and Joanne Merrill.
In June 2012, the high court upheld the constitutionality of the mandate in a supremely important 5-4 ruling. Challenges like the Liberty University suit were expected. The Republican-driven assault on the law has come from every avenue possible, including the recent government shutdown by Congress, and obstructionist governors like Nathan Deal of Georgia.
They could not undo it through the presidential election, nor through dozens of futile repeal efforts in the House of Representatives. In terms familiar to Ted Cruz, it cannot be repealed here, it cannot be repealed there, it cannot be repealed anywhere.
Two months ago, the ACA started dominating the news cycle because the launch of its enrollment page was beset by a litany of glitches and bugs. Those problems are receding now, so today’s news, while not unexpected, is welcome for those who need affordable health insurance. In two additional cases, Supreme Court verdicts are pending regarding the birth control provision, for which decisions should be rendered by next June.
While these will not be the last challenges to the ACA, in Congress or in the courts, the mandate — which is crucial to the law’s effectiveness — remains strong and intact.
h/t: Daily Kos