Supreme Court dismisses challenge brought by Arkansas and other states to Obama health law

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In this June 8, 2021 photo, the Supreme Court is seen in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP/KARK) — The Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to the Obama-era health care law, preserving insurance coverage for millions of Americans.

The justices left the entire law intact Thursday in ruling that Texas, other Republican-led states and two individuals had no right to bring their lawsuit in federal court.

According to a spokesperson with the Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, the Natural State is a part of this lawsuit.

Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge said in a statement the decision recognized the individual mandate is unenforceable.

“At no point in today’s decision do the Supreme Court Justices address the merits of our argument that Obamacare is unconstitutional,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “Arkansans deserve better, and I will continue to urge Congress to establish a comprehensive healthcare law that will allow states to be flexible while ensuring coverage for pre-existing conditions.”

The law’s major provisions include protections for people with pre-existing health conditions, a range of no-cost preventive services and the expansion of the Medicaid program that insures lower-income people, including those who work in jobs that don’t pay much or provide health insurance.

Also left in place is the law’s now-toothless requirement that people have health insurance or pay a penalty. Congress rendered that provision irrelevant in 2017 when it reduced the penalty to zero.

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