On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in California v. Texas: the latest in over a decade of challenges to the Affordable Care Act. At issue in this case is whether the individual mandate in the ACA is unconstitutional. And with the addition of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, the conservative supermajority on the bench is poised to gut health-care legislation that provides coverage for millions.
So how did we get here?
To answer that question we have to go back to 2009, an arguably simpler time. Barack Obama was president, Scandal hadn’t even begun airing yet, and the nation was about to launch into a seemingly endless string of debates over whether health care is a fundamental right. (It is.)
The ACA—or as conservatives often called it, “Obamacare”—is a federal statute that was signed into law by President Obama in 2010. It expanded Medicaid coverage and made health care affordable and accessible to millions. It also ensured coverage of reproductive health care through a contraception mandate, which was itself the subject of much debate and the source of much ire among conservatives and religious groups.
What followed was over ten years of battles in Congress and the judiciary, as cases aimed at overturning the ACA weaved their way up and down the courts. Now, a new case is before the Supreme Court with the most conservative bench of justices since the ACA was enacted.
Here are the key moments from that decade.