1 of 4 Court Rulings Likely
This is a complex legal concept known as “separability” – that is, whether a particular provision can be “severed” from a larger law, without overturning the whole.
In two recent decisions, Miller notes, the Supreme Court has tended to focus narrowly on “severable” provisions without overturning entire laws, which the court sees primarily as the role of Congress.
So what is the Supreme Court likely to do with this case? Health policy experts and legal scholars – including Keith, Miller, and Musumeci – suggest four likely scenarios:
N ° 1: The case is dismissed. The court could simply dismiss the suit, ruling that the plaintiffs do not have standing to bring an action, preserving the status quo. “They might say, ‘Get out of court, you’re not hurt, so you don’t have any reason to be here to sue in the first place’ – basically saying this trial should never have been allowed to move forward. in the first place, “Keith said.
# 2: kill the individual mandate but keep the affordable care law. The judges could decide the individual tenure is unconstitutional, but that doesn’t mean the rest of Obamacare should be quashed.
# 3: Kill the Mandate and polish some parts of Obamacare. The court could also decide that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and that certain parts of the law that it is supposed to fund – such as protecting people with pre-existing conditions – could also be in question. But experts say they don’t expect judges to go this route.
“You could, in theory, have an outcome where the individual tenure and pre-existing conditions fall and the rest of the law survives,” says Musumeci. “But Roberts and Kavanaugh have made it clear that they don’t believe Congress in 2017 intends to shed pre-existing protections against the conditions. So that tells me that they are going to look at the matter in the narrowest way. “
Keith agreed, “From the hearing, that possibility seems a lot less likely than it even was before. I was much more concerned about this possibility before the pleadings.
# 4: Overthrow all of Obamacare. It is also possible that the court may decide that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and that, therefore, the entire Affordable Care Act should be dropped. But Keith, echoing other pundits, says this option is “at the end of the spectrum” and highly unlikely, based on comments from Roberts, Kavanaugh and the other judges.
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