Obamacare Ruling Likely to Be Overturned - Slog

Glen Mclaughlin
December 18, 2018

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth agreed with a coalition of Republican states led by Texas that the Affordable Care Act, the signature health-care overhaul by President Barack Obama, needed to be eviscerated after Congress a year ago zeroed out a key provision - the tax penalty for not complying with the requirement to buy insurance.

In a statement issued Friday night, the White House said: "We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court". O'Connor's decision said that without that penalty, the law no longer met that constitutional test.

As former President Barack Obama noted on Facebook after Friday's ruling, "Republicans will never stop trying to undo" the health care law. There is not now a viable alternative to the law that can pass the House and Senate and get signed into law by President Trump.

The Supreme Court in 2012 ruled that the individual mandate was a valid exercise of Congress' taxation powers, with the law imposing a monetary penalty on people who did not obtain insurance. Blue Cross and Blue Shield members can be assured that their health coverage and the financial assistance they may receive to help them afford it remains in place despite this ruling, and patients will continue to receive the care they need.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor's ruling is a profoundly troubling development that threatens to leave millions of Americans-including many with pre-existing conditions-little hope for affordable health care coverage and financial stability. He deemed that mandating the purchase of health insurance was unconstitutional - and thus that the whole law should be tossed out.

President Donald Trump's justice department declined to defend any part of the lawsuit, which was brought by 20 Republican governors and attorneys-general.

"It's a great ruling for our country". "It was a big, big victory by a highly respected judge".

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"As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!" Pollock said some people were stumped by the judge's ruling. Republicans who tried to undermine those safeguards during their failed effort to repeal the health law a year ago were forced on the defensive and went on record saying they, too, want to make sure people with health problems can get coverage.

What does the federal court ruling mean?

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This caught many by surprise, as the Trump administration had simply argued in joining the attack on the law that the removal of the insurance mandate's penalty would merely invalidate some of the statute's consumer protections, but that the remainder of the law could remain in force as legally distinct. But even if the Justices prefer for the case to make its way up to their docket in due course, it seems inevitable that the highest court in the land will have its say about the ACA, once again. While the administration had claimed it had no reason to think the cuts were related to dropping enrollment numbers, these emails paint a different picture. Certain providers of substance abuse treatment, emergency services and mental health services could also be negatively impacted. Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted Saturday.

Texas has already made some changes to its health care laws in the event Obamacare ends.

O'Connor issued a stay on his decision - meaning, it will not immediately take effect - while supporters of the ACA appeal the ruling to higher courts.

The appeals process is expected to take some time, potentially as long as two years.

While Trump and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton were quick to praise the ruling, while the American Medical Association called the decision "an unfortunate step backward for our health system". "I rarely reach this conclusion, but only a results-driven policy agenda could begin to explain his absurd conclusion that Congress's 2017 decision to zero out the penalty for not buying the insurance mandated by the ACA while retaining the rest of the ACA somehow rendered the entire ACA unconstitutional". "Our fight to save Obamacare is far from over".

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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