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House, blue states ask Supreme Court to immediately review ObamaCare case

House, blue states ask Supreme Court to immediately review ObamaCare case
© Greg Nash

The House and a group of Democratic-led states on Friday asked the Supreme Court to immediately review a lawsuit seeking to overturn ObamaCare. 

The Democratic-led House and the blue states asked for the Supreme Court to take up the case in its current term and hand down a decision before leaving in June, an unusually fast timeline. 

They argued that speed is necessary to remove the uncertainty hanging over the health care system and the millions of people who get health insurance from ObamaCare by resolving the case soon, rather than letting lower court proceedings play out for years. 

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“The uncertainty created by this litigation is especially problematic because individuals, businesses, and state and local governments make important decisions in reliance on the ACA,” wrote the Democratic attorneys general, led by California Attorney General Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraSecond court blocks Trump's order to exclude undocumented immigrants from census California Republicans agree not to use unofficial ballot drop boxes Schwarzenegger: California GOP has gone 'off the rails' with unofficial ballot boxes MORE, about the Affordable Care Act. “Each year, for example, millions of Americans make life-changing decisions—like starting a family or changing jobs—in reliance on the ACA’s patient protections and the greater access to affordable healthcare coverage it provides.”

They are seeking to have the Supreme Court uphold the Affordable Care Act and overrule a decision from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in December, which found the law’s mandate to have insurance to be unconstitutional. The appellate court though punted decisions about the rest of the law down to a lower court. 

It is unclear if the Supreme Court will agree to take the case this year. Many experts expect that it will not, given its tradition of letting lower court proceedings fully play out before taking a case. 

But only four justices are needed to agree to take a case, and it is possible the four liberal justices would want to dispatch with the case sooner rather than later. 

The Supreme Court’s decision will affect whether the case is decided before the 2020 election or after. 

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Democrats have gone on the political offensive over the case, making it an election issue to argue that Republicans are jeopardizing Americans’ health care. 

Most experts say the case will not be decided until after the 2020 election, unless the Supreme Court takes the unusual step of inserting itself now in response to Friday’s request. 

Legal experts in both parties see the challengers’ arguments as far-fetched, and despite the lower court rulings finding the law's mandate unconstitutional, say they expect the ACA will ultimately be upheld.