Looking Back On The Many Times The Affordable Care Act Has Been Challenged

Jul 9, 2019
Originally published on July 9, 2019 7:08 pm
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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Today, the Affordable Care Act is on trial again, this time at a federal appeals court in Louisiana. It's the latest in a string of challenges to the health care overhaul ever since President Obama signed it into law.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The biggest legal challenge was filed immediately after the law passed in March of 2010. That lawsuit made it all the way to the Supreme Court.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "PBS NEWSHOUR")

JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. Supreme Court, on the last day of its term, issued a landmark decision on health care reform.

CORNISH: The suit challenged the law's individual mandate, the idea that Congress could require every American to have health insurance.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS")

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: And the Supreme Court has upheld the requirement that every American...

CORNISH: The court upheld the law, as long as the individual mandate was enforced through a tax penalty.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: Every American who can afford it must buy health insurance or pay a fine.

SHAPIRO: Congressional Republicans have tried many times to overturn the law and failed, even in 2017 when the party controlled both chambers of Congress and the presidency.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "PBS NEWSHOUR")

WOODRUFF: A last-ditch effort for a partial repeal of Obamacare...

SHAPIRO: They couldn't get the votes needed to repeal the law.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "PBS NEWSHOUR")

WOODRUFF: ...Failed by a single vote early today, frustrating Republican leaders and the president.

SHAPIRO: A few months later in 2017, Republicans found a new strategy.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: We want to give you, the American people, a giant tax cut for Christmas. And when I say giant, I mean giant.

(APPLAUSE)

SHAPIRO: As part of the sweeping tax bill Trump signed into law that year, Republicans targeted a key part of Obamacare - the tax penalty for not having health insurance. The law reduced the penalty to zero dollars. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.