The Trump Administration Just Asked the Supreme Court to Strike Down Obamacare During a Pandemic

The move could strip 23 million Americans of health insurance at the time they need it most.

Nancy Kaszerman/Zuma

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The Trump administration filed a brief Thursday encouraging the Supreme Court to strike down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act, threatening to leave 23 million Americans uninsured amid a pandemic that has killed more than 120,000 people in the United States.

The briefing, filed by Solicitor General Noel Francisco, reaffirms the government’s position that the lack of an individual mandate renders the legislation known as Obamacare unconstitutional. Last year, a federal appeals court found the individual mandate—which requires uninsured Americans to pay a yearly penalty—unconstitutional, because it could no longer be considered a tax after it was set to zero by the GOP’s 2017 tax bill. In March, the Supreme Court announced that it would hear the case, brought by Republican attorneys general, to determine whether the invalidation of the individual mandate would nullify the rest of the health care law.

The Supreme Court is likely to hear oral arguments in the case in the fall, and the case could weigh heavily in the minds of voters headed to the polls to vote for president in November.

In a statement released late Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the Trump administration’s stance “an act of unfathomable cruelty” that threatens to strip coverage for preexisting conditions away from the 130 million Americans who rely on it. Meanwhile, more than one million Americans have filed for unemployment each week for the past 14 weeks, leaving many without employer-based coverage, instead relying on the Affordable Care Act for insurance. As Republican strategist Joel White told Yahoo News, “Politically, it’s pretty dumb to be talking about how we need to repeal Obamacare in the middle of a pandemic.” 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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