Supreme Court prepares to examine the legality of Obamacare

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Renewing ACA health insurance coverage for the poorest Americans may become more difficult

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The United States Supreme Court announced Monday it will hear Republican-backed arguments later this year that challenge the legality of the Affordable Care Act .

Justices rejected an earlier request from Democrats to fast-track a ruling by June.

In the meantime, the Trump administration has continued its effort to chip away at the ACA–commonly referred to as Obamacare–with a recent lawsuit claiming the elimination of the individual mandate negates the ACA altogether.

The suit was launched by more than a dozen red states. It emerged as a threat to Obamacare in December after a panel of federal appeals court judges found the law unconstitutional.

“If the Trump lawsuit is successful, 20 million Americans will lose their healthcare coverage,” said Leslie Dach of Protect Our Care, an organization fighting Trump’s efforts to abolish the law. Dach added that roughly 135 million people would also lose protections for pre-existing conditions. “I think every reasonable scholar has said this case has no merits.”

The Trump administration is also going after another element of the ACA. Health and Human Services is considering a new rule that would limit the use of drug manufacturer coupons.

“What they’re looking at is not allowing those coupons to apply toward the deductible,” said Kenneth Thorpe with the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease.

The rule would also end auto re-enrollment for some.

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