By Tamara Laine
The future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama’s signature healthcare legislation, is being challenged again in court. The fifth circuit court of appeals in New Orleans is hearing oral arguments on its constitutionality.
The case, brought by Texas and 19 other republican-led states, argues that the ACA is no longer constitutional now that Congress has removed the individual mandate, which required all Americans to obtain health insurance or face a tax penalty.
Proponents of the ACA who fighting to preserve the law in court, including California and 19 mostly democratic states, maintain that Congress did not intend to repeal the whole law when they ended the mandate penalty in 2017.
A repeal of the nearly decade old law could leave up to 32 million people uninsured by 2026, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office.
The battle is not expected to end any time soon.
The fifth circuit’s decision will influence whether or not the Supreme Court considers the case.