Obamacare

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi w/Roses

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the first woman to hold the most powerful position in Congress, who has been the leader of House Democrats for 20 years, announced earlier today that she's stepping down from her leadership position as soon as the 118th Congress takes office on January 3rd, 2023.

Pelosi is a legend in the U.S. Congress, and no accomplishment more perfectly illustrates her skill than the passage of the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act in 2009 - 2010.

As U.S. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut put it in a Twitter thread a few minutes ago:

There's one night I will remember most when thinking about Nancy Pelosi - the night I watched her single handedly save health care for 20 million Americans. It was at the first Democratic caucus meeting after Scott Brown won the special Senate election in Massachusetts.

Many rank-and-file Democrats were in a panic, and they lined up at the microphone to tell Pelosi that it was time for us to give up on the Affordable Care Act. Or chop it up into little pieces - as some in the White House were suggesting.

The 12 Year War

Annnnnnd there it is: Moments ago, the U.S. Supreme Court finally issued their decision in the long-awaited "CA vs. TX" lawsuit...previously known as "Texas vs. Azar," "Texas vs. U.S." or, as I always preferred to call it, "Texas Fold'em," a term first invoked by University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley just over three years ago.

Bottom Line: The case was basically thrown out for lack of standing, in a 7-2 decision, with Justice Breyer delivering the opinion of the court, joined by Justices Sotomayor and Kagan (of course), but also Justices Roberts, Kavanaugh, Barrett and Thomas!

Justice Alito and Gorsuch dissented.

From the opinion itself:

Held: Plaintiffs do not have standing to challenge §5000A(a)’s minimum essential coverage provision because they have not shown a past or future injury fairly traceable to defendants’ conduct enforcing the specific statutory provision they attack as unconstitutional. Pp. 4–16.

Michael Greve

 

A rational person might be wondering why the Trump Administration and 20-odd Republican Attorneys General are still dead set on tearing down the entire Affordable Care Act over ten years after it was signed into law, even in the middle of a global pandemic which has already killed more than 130,000 Americans and infected nearly 3 million more.

After all, they were eventually able to eliminate the single least popular provision of the law: The federal individual mandate penalty. Most of the rest of the elements are actually quite popular...and in fact poll after poll finds that the bulk of the public wants those other provisions strengthened, not weakened or eliminated.

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