A posteriori snub for former President Donald Trump.

This Thursday, the Supreme Court of the United States refused to strike down the iconic Obamacare.

A law on health insurance put in place by Barack Obama during his mandate and that his successor had tried by all means to remove.

The decision to maintain this health coverage for millions of Americans was made by a majority of seven out of nine judges.

Their decision, the third devoted to this law, is based on a procedural argument: according to them, Texas and the other Republican states which brought the appeal were not justified in doing so.

New Democratic President Joe Biden had deemed "cruel" this latest attempt by Republicans to overturn a law that proved particularly useful during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The law already amputated of its fines

In its original form, Obamacare required all Americans, even those in good health, to purchase insurance on pain of financial penalties and required companies to insure all potential customers, regardless of their health. This reform made it possible to provide health coverage to 31 million Americans who had not previously had it, but Republicans have always viewed compulsory insurance as an abuse of government power.

Their first appeal was therefore against this “individual mandate”.

The Supreme Court had validated it in 2012, ruling that the financial penalties could be considered as taxes and justified the intervention of the State.

When he arrived at the White House, Donald Trump tried to repeal the law in Congress but suffered a stinging setback.

Republican elected officials, however, managed to amend it in 2017, and reduced the fines for lack of insurance to zero.

Has the law become unconstitutional

Several republican states had then introduced new legal remedies, arguing that the law no longer held.

In December 2018, a federal judge in Texas had agreed with them: "the keystone" of the building having fallen, the whole law is unconstitutional, he had decided.

It is this decision that the Supreme Court overturned Thursday.

"We have not decided the question of the validity of the law, but Texas and the other plaintiffs are not competent to ask it," wrote progressive judge Stephen Breyer on behalf of the majority of his colleagues.


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