U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court rejects fast-track review of health care law, making review before election unlikely

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The U.S. Supreme Court refused Tuesday to grant fast-track review to a new constitutional challenge to the Affordable Care Act, making it unlikely that the case will be decided before the 2020 presidential election.

The court turned down a request for fast review by the House of Representatives and 20 mainly Democratic-led states, report the Washington Post, the National Law Journal and Politico.

Ruling in the case last month, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at New Orleans struck down the law’s individual mandate requiring Americans to carry health insurance. The appeals court said the requirement became unconstitutional after Congress in 2017 lowered the tax penalty to zero for failure to carry insurance.

The 5th Circuit remanded the case for a trial judge to reconsider whether other provisions of the law can be separated from the individual mandate and remain in effect.

The law includes provisions protecting people with preexisting conditions, allowing children to have coverage through their parents’ policies until age 26, and guaranteeing “essential health benefits” that include mental health, maternity and drug coverage.

House general counsel Douglas Letter had told the Supreme Court that the 5th Circuit decision poses a threat to the orderly operation of health care markets. Arguing against expedited review, U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the court that the 5th Circuit decision “did not definitively resolve any question of practical consequence.”

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