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Supreme Court declines to fast-track Obamacare case

Addressing the real cost of health care

The Supreme Court refused Tuesday to consider a fast-track review of a lawsuit that threatens the Obama-era health care law, making it highly unlikely that the justices would decide the case before the 2020 election. The decision comes hours before Chief Justice John Roberts will preside over the president's impeachment trial. 

The court denied a request by 20 mainly Democratic states and the Democratic-led House of Representatives to decide quickly on a lower-court ruling that declared part of the statute unconstitutional and cast a cloud over the rest.

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 justices did not comment on their order. They will consider the appeal on their normal timetable and could decide in the coming months whether to take up the case.

The Trump administration has already stopped enforcing the penalty for individuals not purchasing health insurance, and Mr. Trump has claimed his administration eliminated the individual mandate. 

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