President Trump’s administration asked the Supreme Court to ax the Affordable Care Act in a late-night brief.
The brief, filed Thursday, argued that the individual mandate is not constitutional and that the entire law must therefore also be struck down. If the Supreme Court agrees, millions of people could lose healthcare coverage and protections for preexisting conditions amid a global pandemic.
“The individual mandate is not severable from the rest of the Act,” U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco and other Justice Department officials said in the brief, siding with Texas in a case that argued the requirement to purchase insurance is nullified after Congress did away with the noncompliance penalty in 2017.
The brief comes at a time of political upheaval in the United States and during an election year in which Trump’s Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, frequently touts his time as vice president under President Barack Obama. One of Obama’s biggest legacies is the passage of the Affordable Care Act, and Biden has promised to expand the law, known as Obamacare, if elected.