ACA

Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) says he will oppose the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Barrett said during hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee this week that she had made no deal with President Donald Trump regarding the Affordable Care Act.

Updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

Amy Coney Barrett, President Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court, sat for nearly 20 hours of questioning by 22 members of the Senate Judiciary Committee over two days. At the outset of the process, Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham acknowledged that her confirmation by the panel was all but guaranteed.

Updated at 3:23 p.m. ET

Judge Amy Coney Barrett's confirmation to the Supreme Court would, Democrats fear, imperil the Affordable Care Act, which has twice narrowly survived in the high court.

The ACA, which is also known as Obamacare, is scheduled to be argued once again before the Supreme Court a week after the Nov. 3 election. On Tuesday, during the second day of hearings at the Senate Judiciary Committee, Democrats repeatedly pressed Barrett on whether she'd made assurances to anyone about how she would rule on the ACA.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET

Demonstrators supporting and opposing Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett gathered on Capitol Hill Monday as her confirmation hearings began, with health — from the coronavirus, to the Affordable Care Act and abortion — as a major focus.

There will be plenty of firsts on Monday as the Senate Judiciary Committee opens hearings on the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.

It is the first time that a confirmation hearing is taking place amid a pandemic and with two committee members, both Republicans, recently having tested positive for the coronavirus.

It is also the first time that a confirmation hearing is taking place at the same time early voting has begun in many states, and in a presidential election year.

The U.S. Supreme Court opens a new court term Monday, while across the street at the Capitol, Republicans are seeking to jam through, before the Nov. 3 election, President Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the court.

Trump offered Barrett the nomination just two days after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. And since then, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has been leading the GOP charge to get Barrett confirmed before Election Day.

President Trump's nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to fill the Supreme Court seat made vacant by the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is seen as a home run for conservatives. It is a chance to move the high court in a far more aggressively conservative direction for generations.

In political terms, Barrett is the dream candidate for conservative Republicans and the nightmare candidate for Democrats.

For Republicans, the 48-year-old is a young and personally unassailable nominee.

Updated at 12:32 p.m. ET

The U.S. Supreme Court has made it more difficult for women to get access to birth control as part of their health plans if their employer has religious or moral objections to contraceptives.

The opinion upheld a Trump administration rule that significantly cut back on the Affordable Care Act requirement that insurers provide free birth control coverage as part of almost all health care plans.

Updated at 11:43 a.m. ET

In a filing with the U.S. Supreme Court, the Trump administration has reaffirmed its position that the Affordable Care Act in its entirety is illegal because Congress eliminated the individual tax penalty for failing to purchase medical insurance.

A coalition of Democratic committees representing governors, attorneys general, senators and members of Congress released a strategy memo Tuesday outlining that their collective strategy for the 2020 elections is to focus on health care.

Health care has been a leading issue in the presidential campaign over the past year, as Democratic candidates have clashed with each other, and especially with President Trump. But voters, who tell pollsters that health is among their top concerns, also complain that the health debate has been confusing and hard to follow.

With voting about to begin in many states, here's a guide to some key health care terms, issues and policy differences at play.

Universal coverage, "Medicare for All" and single-payer are not the same thing

You're forgiven if in the holiday blur you missed that a federal appeals court in New Orleans has once again put the future of the Affordable Care Act in doubt. Or if you missed the news last week that a group of Democratic state attorneys general has asked the Supreme Court to hear the case in this term — which ends in June. That would mean a decision could come right in the middle of the 2020 presidential and congressional campaigns.

Updated at 8:28 p.m. ET

A federal appeals court panel in New Orleans has dealt another blow to the Affordable Care Act, agreeing with a lower-court judge that the portion of the health law requiring most people to have coverage is unconstitutional now that Congress has eliminated the tax penalty that was intended to enforce it.

But it is sending the case back to the lower court to decide how much of the rest of the law can stand in light of that ruling.

Any day now, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans could rule that the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

At least it seemed that two of the three appeals court judges were leaning that way during oral arguments in the case, State of Texas v. USA, in July.

More than $12 billion is at stake for the nation's health insurers Tuesday when the Supreme Court hears a case involving the Affordable Care Act.

For the federal government, the potential damages could be far greater, as its reputation as a reliable partner to private businesses is on the line.

Unlike earlier Obamacare cases before the high court — where the entire 2010 law and health coverage for millions of Americans was at risk — the latest case has largely flown under consumers' radar.

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