Thursday, 27 June, 2019

Judge Declares ObamaCare Unconstitutional, Trump Celebrates on Twitter

Federal Judge In Texas Rules Against Affordable Care Act Federal judge in Texas rules Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional
Anna Jefferson | 15 December, 2018, 06:25

The Affordable Care Act was struck down by a Texas federal judge in a ruling that casts uncertainty on insurance coverage for millions of United States residents.

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

O'Connor is a conservative judge on the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas.

The district court ruling does not necessarily mean the law is officially null, however. They contended that overturning the law would throw millions off health insurance rolls by reversing Medicaid expansion, ending tax credits that help people and empowering insurers to once again deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions.

Republicans had tried to strike it down in the courts, but when they couldn't do that, they included a repeal of the mandate in the Tax Cuts and and Jobs Act of 2017, Bloomberg reported. I would be quite surprised if this opinion survives the inevitable appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and even more surprised if this result garners the support of more than two justices on the Supreme Court (if the case even gets that far).

The decision also comes one day before the open enrollment deadline.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court".

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"When House Democrats take the gavel, the House of Representatives will move swiftly to formally intervene in the appeals process to uphold the life-saving protections for people with pre-existing conditions and reject Republicans' effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act", Mrs. Pelosi said.

Democratic leaders, meanwhile, reacted harshly to the decision.

O'Connor ruled that ObamaCare is "non-severable from the individual mandate, meaning that the Act must be invalidated in whole".

The Republican led House and Senate, under President Donald Trump, outlawed the individual mandate in the tax cut law past year.

13 NEWS has reached out to the Attorney General's Office for comment on the decision. Republicans who tried to undermine those safeguards during their failed effort to repeal the health law past year were forced on the defensive and went on record saying they, too, want to make sure people with health problems can get coverage.

Twenty Republican-led states had argued the Supreme Court cast Obamacare as a package deal, with the mandate to hold insurance - or else pay a tax - tethered to the law's goodies.

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