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Supreme Court appears willing to leave Obamacare in place

first_img– Advertisement – The court’s six conservatives seemed sympathetic to arguments made by Kyle Hawkins, the Texas Solicitor General, and acting Justice Department Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall that the individual mandate became unconstitutional when it was stripped of an accompanying penalty.But Roberts and Kavanaugh suggested that would not doom the rest of the law.“I think it’s hard for you to argue that Congress intended the entire act to fall if the mandate was struck down,” Roberts told Hawkins. Roberts was appointed by President George W. Bush.Roberts acknowledged that some Republican lawmakers may have wanted the Supreme Court to strike down the law, “but that’s not our job.”Kavanaugh told Donald Verrilli, who was solicitor general under former President Barack Obama, that “I tend to agree with you that this is a very straightforward case” and that under the court’s precedents “we would excise the mandate and leave the rest of the act in place.”Later, Kavanaugh told Hawkins that it “sure seems” like Congress in 2017 wanted to lower the individual mandate penalty without getting rid of the Affordable Care Act’s other provisions, such as its protections for those with preexisting conditions.The court’s three liberals, Justice Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are expected to side with California and a coalition of other Democratic-led states that are defending Obamacare. It takes five votes to gain a majority on the nine-judge panel.Two lower courts sided with Texas, including the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals court, that the individual mandate was unlawful. The appeals court did not say whether the rest of the Affordable Care Act would also have to be struck down.Arguments, which were scheduled to last for 80 minutes, began at 10 a.m. ET and were continuing around 12 p.m. ET.A decision is expected toward the end of June.The case is known as California v. Texas, No. 19-840.This is breaking news. Check back for updates.  – Advertisement – A demonstrator holds a sign in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on November 10, 2020, as the high court opened arguments in the long-brewing case over the constitutionality of the 2010 Affordable Care Act, under which then-president Barack Obama’s government sought to extend health insurance to people who could not afford it.Nicholas Kamm | AFP | Getty Imagescenter_img The Affordable Care Act seems likely to withstand its third challenge at the Supreme Court.Several of the court’s conservatives on Tuesday expressed an unwillingness to strike down the landmark legislation during oral arguments in a case brought by red states seeking to eliminate the law.Chief Justice John Roberts, who cast the key vote in 2012 upholding Obamacare, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, an appointee of President Donald Trump, both suggested that the court may cast aside a challenged provision of the law, known as the individual mandate, while leaving the rest of it standing.- Advertisement – The individual mandate provision, as enacted in 2010, requires most Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty. The GOP-controlled Congress reduced the penalty to $0 in 2017.The Supreme Court upheld the mandate in 2012 under Congress’s taxing power, but Texas and other Republican-led states argued that the reduction of the penalty made that justification no longer workable, and as a result the whole Affordable Care Act must be struck down. The Trump administration, via the Department of Justice, argued in favor of the red states’ challenge.Health-care activists warned that if the Supreme Court struck down the Affordable Care Act, more than 20 million people could lose their insurance. The dispute, which was argued in the shadow of last week’s presidential election, was a central focus of Democrats during the confirmation hearings for Justice Amy Coney Barrett last month.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Klopp wrestles with Liverpool’s midfield dilemma

first_img– Vulnerable –Liverpool, currently third in the Premier League, have not been as threatening a force as they were last season en route to the Champions League final.The midfield has looked particularly vulnerable in their past two matches, a 1-1 Premier League draw at Arsenal last Saturday and a surprisingly meek 2-0 Champions League group defeat at Red Star Belgrade on Tuesday.Neither Keita nor Fabinho played in Serbia, while their other major outfield signing of the summer, Xherdan Shaqiri, was left in England, amid concerns about the reception he would receive from the home supporters because of his Kosovan heritage.Klopp’s three-man midfield on Tuesday failed to distinguish itself, with hamstring injury victim Jordan Henderson clearly missed.James Milner’s error led to the home side’s second goal, with Georginio Wijnaldum shrugged aside too easily before Milan Pavkov scored. Adam Lallana, making a rare start, was anonymous.Fabinho was an unused substitute in Belgrade, having struggled against Arsenal, and is clearly not up to speed with the English game yet.Keita started well in England, then hit injury problems, as he suffered a back spasm during October’s Champions League defeat by Napoli, and a hamstring problem playing for Guinea.Klopp has shuffled around his midfield this season, but appears reluctant to repeat the experiment he tried in September’s Premier League win over Southampton, when Shaqiri was used in an advanced midfield role.The Switzerland international was substituted at half-time that day, because Klopp felt the match was too open.His best hope of regular game time now would appear to be as part of the attacking three, which means dislodging Salah, Firmino or Mane.Fabinho still has work to do to earn his starting spot too. Keita, though, will surely become a regular once he gets up to speed and a meeting with struggling Fulham could be the ideal place to start.Share on: WhatsApp Liverpool, United Kingdom | AFP | As Jurgen Klopp tries to maintain Liverpool’s challenge for the Premier League title, the need to sort out his midfield is becoming an increasingly pressing issue.A home match against bottom club Fulham on Sunday may just offer the opportunity to start to put that right by giving both Naby Keita and Fabinho crucial game time to build momentum and confidence.Both players were signed at great expense during the summer with a view to strengthening Liverpool’s midfield options.Keita was seen as a replacement for the attacking guile of Philippe Coutinho while Fabinho was viewed as the player to prove a defensive shield following Emre Can’s departure.Neither has yet managed to establish themselves as a powerful presence in England, with Reds boss Klopp relying largely on the players used last season.Klopp has suggested both signings need time to settle in a new country, with Guinea international Keita arriving from German club RB Leipzig, and Brazilian Fabinho joining from French Ligue 1 side Monaco.While it is understandable that neither player would hit the ground running, the need for them to find form has become more urgent, given the lack of creative spark in Liverpool’s midfield.If the front three of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane have failed to hit last season’s heights, the same is true of the midfield, where the injured Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has been sorely missed.Liverpool defender Andy Robertson has seen the difference for himself.“Last season everyone was used to us scoring four or five goals. That can’t be possible every single game,” Robertson said.“Maybe we are missing a bit of a spark in terms of not winning 4-0 or 5-0 in most games but if the manager thinks that then we need to try to get it back.“We need to come together as a team and try to give what the gaffer wants, try to get the spark and try to win games more comfortably.”last_img read more