The Supreme Court and the future of the Affordable Care Act

Judge Amy Coney Barrett
Judge Amy Coney Barrett is nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Trump in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020.
Olivier Douliery | AFP via Getty Images

A week after Election Day, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider a lawsuit that seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act.

And Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett will likely be asked during her confirmation hearings — scheduled for next week — about her criticism of a court majority opinion in 2012 that upheld the ACA, also known as ObamaCare.

The law provided health insurance to 20 million previously uninsured Americans by expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income families and providing tax credits for people who buy private insurance through state-run marketplaces such as MNSure. It also blocked insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

But health care remains unaffordable for many Americans. In his campaign for president in 2016, Republican Donald Trump promised to repeal the legislation, and his administration now is backing the latest lawsuit against it.

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On Wednesday at 9 a.m., two health care scholars joined MPR News host Kerri Miller to discuss what the act accomplished, where it fell short, and its future. 


Stephen Parente is a professor in the Department of Finance and the Minnesota Insurance Industry Chair of Health Finance at the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management.

Ninez Ponce is a professor in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management.

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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