The US Department of Justice (DOJ) asked the US Supreme Court on Thursday to invalidate the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In its brief, the DOJ argued that the ACA in its entirety is unconstitutional because Congress eliminated the individual mandate clause of the act. Since the individual mandate clause is so closely intertwined with the guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions, it logically follows that such provisions cannot be enforced absent the individual mandate. More specifically the brief states, “the ACA’s remaining provisions are likewise inseverable, because it is evident that Congress would not have enacted them without the individual mandate and the guaranteed-issue and community-rating provisions. … Nothing the 2017 Congress did demonstrates it would have intended the rest of the ACA to continue to operate in the absence of these three integral provisions.”
This filing comes days after House Democrats unveiled a bill to strengthen the ACA. As part of this bill, monthly premiums would be limited to 8.5 percent of individuals’ incomes rather than the current 10 percent, among other amendments.
If the Supreme Court strikes down the ACA in its entirety, more than 20 million Americans would be without medical insurance.