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Supreme Court will decide fate of Obama health care law

A decision isn't likely to be made until after the 2020 election.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this June 17, 2019 file photo, The Supreme Court in Washington.

The Supreme Court has agreed to decide a lawsuit that threatens the Obama-era health care law, but the decision is not likely until after the 2020 election.

The court said Monday it would hear an appeal by 20 mainly Democratic states of a lower-court ruling that declared part of the statute unconstitutional and cast a cloud over the rest.

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Defenders of the Affordable Care Act argued that the issues raised by the case are too important to let the litigation drag on for months or years in lower courts and that the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans erred when it struck down the health law's now toothless requirement that Americans have health insurance. The 2-1 ruling was handed down in December 2019. 

The case marks the third time the Supreme Court battled over Obamacare since it was passed in 2010, according to the Associated Press. The court notably upheld the law's individual mandate in 2012 in a 5-4 vote. 

The Trump administration has supported the total repeal of the health care law. 

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