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GA Senate Runoffs Could Decide Fate Of Affordable Care Act

Navicent Health is the largest health care system in middle Georgia, with more than 50 facilities, including The Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon.
Navicent Health is the largest health care system in middle Georgia, with more than 50 facilities, including The Medical Center, Navicent Health in Macon.

When Georgia voters pick the winners of two U.S. Senate runoffs in January, they’ll likely be deciding the face of the Affordable Care Act.
Control of the chamber could matter more than what the U.S. Supreme Court says about whether Obamacare is unconstitutional.

If Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock defeat incumbent Republican Senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, the Democrats will have narrow control of the Senate.

That, says Larry Levitt with the Kaiser Family Foundation, could let them make small changes to save the ACA — even if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to strike the law down.

"That will affect whether the Senate and the incoming Biden administration can make this court case moot, but will also affect president-elect Biden's agenda for healthcare, which involves building on the ACA, assuming it does remain in place," said Levitt.

The high court heard arguments Tuesday in the suit from Republican states, including Georgia, looking to overturn Obamacare.

A ruling is expected sometime next year.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published and aired on Nov. 10 via WABE Public Broadcasting in Atlanta, GA.