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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

The Cares Act That May No Longer Care

The+Spartanburg+Medical+Center+that%2C+per+year%2C+has+over+174%2C000+emergency+center+visits%2C+performs+over+25%2C000+surgical+operations+and+delivers+more+than+3%2C800+babies.+
The Spartanburg Medical Center that, per year, has over 174,000 emergency center visits, performs over 25,000 surgical operations and delivers more than 3,800 babies.

The upcoming Supreme Court decision over the Affordable Care Act (ACA) brings rise to questions about the future of the American healthcare system.

Despite the recent passing of late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the nomination hearings for potential Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett have been well underway. Her nomination has been hotly contested due to her public personal stances on subjects such as drug decriminalization, healthcare and Second Amendment Rights, all of which heavily align with those of the Republican party. On the 27th of October, 2020, Barrett was officially confirmed to the Supreme Court. 

Many milestone cases are being entertained in the docket to be heard by the Supreme Court. Such topics are suspected to include abortion and women’s reproductive rights (Roe v. Wade), healthcare and the Affordable Care Act (California v. Texas) and the proper use of military funds for national security reasons (Trump v. California). 

For some Americans, healthcare can be a very sensitive and polarizing subject. The case of California v. Texas, granted into the Supreme Court docket on March 2, 2020, is to argue the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, and is also known as Obamacare) and whether or not it can be considered serveable. 

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Under the initial 2012 argument, those who did not purchase health insurance during the year would receive a tax penalty, which is upheld through Congress’s right to impose taxes. However, in 2017 in the Republican-controlled congress, the tax penalty was changed to zero, while leaving the rest of the ACA in place.

Because of these changes, Texas and other states filed suit stating that since the penalty for not having health insurance is zero, then it is no longer a tax that can be imposed by Congress, and is therefore unconstitutional.  Other states, including California, responded to the case in order to defend the existence and continuance of the ACA. 

Throughout the entire United States, more than 20 million Americans get health insurance through ACA. Closer to home, if the Affordable Care Act is ruled to be unconstitutional, then in South Carolina alone, over 242,000 would lose access to their current health insurance plans. In 2016, the national average of individuals without health insurance coverage stood at 8.6%, with South Carolina exceeding the average at 10%. For South Carolinians, if the ACA is ruled to be unconstitutional, many are set to lose access to their current healthcare plans and other related tax credits that encourage healthcare coverage.

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