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Carper, Coons encouraged about Affordable Care Act's fate in Supreme Court

Delaware Public Media

The Supreme Court heard the latest case challenging the Affordable Care Act Tuesday. 

And Delaware’s two Democratic senators are optimistic it will once again survive.


"It can often be misleading to sort of read tea leaves from oral arguments at the Supreme Court, but I was encouraged by the questions asked by Justice Kavanaugh and by Chief Justice Roberts," said Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware).

Coons warns ACA supporters should not to get too excited because two conservative Justices pushed back on arguments to strike the whole law down.

The Trump Administration and a group of GOP-dominated states contend the mandate language eliminated by Congress in 2017 is so interwoven with other provisions of the ACA that the whole law is now unconstitutional.

But Sen. Tom Carper (D-Delaware) took what he heard Tuesday as a good sign a majority of Justices will keep the law on the books.

"It's encouraging that the Supreme Court gets this and that they seem to be inclined to continue to allow this law that's helping so many people, tens of millions of people to benefit from this law," said Carper. "And to say we're going to get rid of the Affordable Care Act in the middle of a pandemic, really? Why would we do that?"

Carper adds if the law stands, he looks forward to making it better under President-elect Biden.

"We knew when we passed, and I helped to author parts of the Affordable Care Act, we knew it wasn't perfect, we knew we have to learn from what we did well and what we didn't do well," said Carper. "And there are changes that aren't being made, and if we had a Congress that was willing to work with the new administration I think we can make a good benefit even better."

 Coons agrees.

"There are big pieces of the Affordable Care Act that got reversed or defunded in recent years, we have to look hard at how to strengthen access to quality health care," said Coons.

The court is expected to make a decision on ACA later in this term.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.
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