Insights into How Supreme Court Nominee Kavanaugh May Approach the ACA

In the wake of President Trump’s announcement on July 9 nominating Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the U.S. to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy, many media outlets have featured experts commenting on how the nominee might act on the nation’s highest court. A piece aired on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” on July 10 featured observations by legal scholar and public health expert Sara Rosenbaum of the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health.

The NPR piece was but one of a number of articles and broadcasts airing the views of experts who believe that Kavanaugh’s decisions might please President Trump and his Republican colleagues, who have made no secret of their desire to void President Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), in some instances and displease them in others. Part of the reason for this, Rosenbaum explained, is that “there’s no one thing as the ACA; [it] is a bundle of changes to many, many U.S. laws.” Tracking the legislation is so challenging that in its latest report on Legislative Actions to Modify the Affordable Care Act in the 111th-115th Congresses, the Congressional Research Service stated that will not update the report further “due to the increasing complexity of tracking such legislation and concerns about the ability to do so authoritatively.”

Rosenbaum also shared her thoughts about how Kavanaugh might consider the case involving the state of Kentucky’s decision to require Medicaid recipients to work to be eligible for the health benefits, which was struck down on June 29 by a ruling by Judge James Boasberg of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. Kavanaugh “is somebody who really looks skeptically at agency overreach,” Rosenbaum said.

Listen to the entire NPR Morning Edition segment here