The Supreme Court should hold the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate constitutional, the Department of Justice said in a letter today to the Supreme Court reversing the position of the prior administration. If the court holds that the mandate is unconstitutional, however, it should declare it severable from the remainder of the law, DOJ said. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in 2019 ruled the individual mandate unconstitutional because Congress had repealed the tax penalty enforcing the mandate, and sent the case back to a district court in Texas to determine which of the law's provisions could survive without the mandate.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia asked the Supreme Court to review the decision, which the court agreed to do.

The AHA, joined by America’s Essential Hospitals, Association of American Medical Colleges, and Federation of American Hospitals have urged the Supreme Court to reverse the appeals court decision and uphold the Act in its entirety, as have 36 state hospital associations.

The court in November heard oral arguments in the case and could issue a decision soon.

“America’s hospitals and health systems support the Department of Justice in calling on the Supreme Court to uphold the Affordable Care Act,” said AHA President and CEO Rick Pollack. “Without the ACA, millions of Americans will lose protections for pre-existing conditions and the health insurance coverage they have gained through the Exchange Marketplaces and Medicaid. We should be working to achieve universal coverage and preserve the progress we have made, not take coverage and consumer protections away. The DOJ’s decision is right on the law and right for the American people.”

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