The Biden administration sent a letter to the US Supreme Court Wednesday informing them of the government’s change of position on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), with Joe Biden’s government believing the ACA is constitutional. This letter comes three months after the court heard oral arguments in California v. Texas and presents a 180-degree change in the government’s position because of the new administration.
California v. Texas is the second attempt to challenge the constitutionality of the ACA. The challengers claim that the removal of the financial penalty in the individual mandate renders the entire law unconstitutional. This position had been supported by the government under the Trump administration.
In the letter sent by the Department of Justice, the Biden government cites the court’s decision in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, where they found the individual mandate was constitutional because it could be read as an exercise of Congress’ tax power. Further, the 2017 amendment to the ACA, “preserved the choice between lawful options and simply eliminated any financial or negative legal consequence from choosing not to enroll in health coverage.”
If the court finds the mandate unconstitutional, then the Biden government requests that the court sever the section rather than find the entire law unconstitutional.
The court’s ruling is expected in the coming months.