THE LOGAN ALLEC SHOW

October 27 Update: Judge Barrett Confirmed; What’s Next for Obamacare?

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In this October 27 update I go over what happened yesterday in the Senate with respect to Judge Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court confirmation as well as Obamacare's next legal battle in the case California v. Texas (known in lower courts as Texas v. United States).  The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for this case on November 10.  This latest challenge stems from the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, which was passed in 2017, setting the tax penalty associated with the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate to zero for tax years beginning in 2019.  This is important because in the 2012 Supreme Court case National Federation of Independent Business v. Sibelius, the Supreme Court ruled that the ACA's individual mandate is in fact a tax and that therefore Congress had the power to enact it.  One of the reasons why the Supreme Court held that the individual mandate penalty is a tax — and probably the most foundational reason — is that the individual mandate penalty produces revenue for the federal government.  And since the penalty is a tax, Congress (which was the power to tax) had the power to enact it.  However, with the tax penalty associated with Obamacare's individual mandate now set to zero, the penalty obviously no longer produces revenue for the federal government.  So is it still a tax?  And if not, is the Affordable Care Act still constitutional?  These questions and others like it are what the Supreme Court, including the new Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett, will hear oral arguments for and against on November 10.

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