Advance Notice: Briefs

SCOTUS punts on lawsuit that could kill ACA

By: - January 22, 2020 8:36 am

U.S. Supreme Court | Susan J. Demas

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with the President Trump administration and Republicans by refusing to immediately review a ruling that found part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was unconstitutional.

A coalition of blue states, including Michigan, and the U.S. House of Representatives had asked the high court to intervene after a Court of Appeals decision in December. The case is known as both California v. Texas and House of Representatives v. Texas.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel put together a coalition of health care groups, economists and hospitals to preserve the law signed in 2010 by then-President Barack Obama. The Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP), a Lansing-based nonpartisan think tank, is among them.

“The results of this lawsuit are significant and may lead us toward a chaotic and much less generous health care system,” said Amber Bellazaire, MLPP policy analyst when the Appeals Court decision came out. ”If the Affordable Care Act is ultimately invalidated, more than 700,000 Michiganders could lose their health care coverage and the 4.1 million people in our state with pre-existing conditions could lose the protections afforded to them under the ACA. Whether it’s asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes or cancer, many people we know and love have a pre-existing condition.”

Nessel wrote on Twitter Tuesday that she is “proud to be part of this coalition of state AGs fighting to preserve health care for Michiganders and for all Americans. No one should ever be denied health insurance because of a pre-existing condition.”

The conservative Supreme Court’s decision was seen as a political victory for Republicans, who are vulnerable on health care, according the polling, in the 2020 election. Democrats campaigned hard on preserving the ACA, especially protections for those with pre-existing conditions, during the 2018 election. They flipped the U.S. House and a number of governorships and state legislative seats across the country.

The suit could take years to be resolved in lower courts.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 21-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 4,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 70 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.