The Supreme Court has all but ruled out hearing a GOP-backed challenge to Obamacare before Election Day, likely avoiding a high-stakes showdown over a lawsuit that will factor prominently into this fall’s campaigns.
The latest: According to a new schedule released by the court Monday, the justices will not hear the Obamacare case in October when their next term begins. Instead, the justices will spend that month hearing 10 cases left over from the previous term that ended last week and was abbreviated because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s still possible the court could hear the Obamacare case the week of Nov. 2, but it’s unlikely the court would take up such a politically charged case so close to the Nov. 3 election.
The news may come as some relief for Republicans in close races, who worry the lawsuit will hurt the party in this November after health care powered Democratic victories during the 2018 midterms. The Trump administration and a coalition states supporting the lawsuit — which could result in more than 20 million people losing coverage and the elimination of insurance protections for preexisting conditions — previously discouraged the Supreme Court from taking up the case this year.
The caveat: The justices can still adjust the schedule as they please, so it’s possible they could add more hearings in October. But as it stands now, the Trump administration likely won’t have to argue in court for overturning Obamacare until after the election.
What’s on tap for October: The justices said they will hear another major health care case, albeit one with less significant political implications. At stake in Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, which was left over from last term, is whether states can regulate pharmacy benefit managers — the middlemen negotiators between health plans and drug manufacturers who have been a punching bag in the fight over prescription drug prices.
The post Supreme Court appears likely to sidestep Obamacare hearing before election appeared first on Politico.