Two conservative justices on the Supreme Court appeared prepared to preserve at least some of the major components of ObamaCare, including its protections for people with preexisting conditions, as they heard arguments Tuesday in a suit challenging the law.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh seemed to express the view that if the court were to strike down the provision of the law mandating the purchase of health insurance, the rest of the law should be allowed to survive.
“Looking at our severability precedents, it does seem fairly clear that the proper remedy would be to sever the mandate provision and leave the rest of the act in place, the provisions regarding preexisting conditions and the rest,” Kavanaugh said.
Roberts was somewhat more equivocal but pushed back forcefully against an argument by the solicitor general of Texas, which is among 18 Republican-led states that urged the court to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety.
The Justice Department, on behalf of the Trump administration, backed the GOP states on Tuesday in urging the justices to strike down the law. Opposing the effort was a coalition of 20 states, led by California, along with the Democratic-led House.