Monday, 17 June, 2019

Blue states file notice they will appeal anti-Obamacare ruling

Attorney General Maura Healey called the Texas ruling misguided and dangerous JESSICA RINALDI Globe Staff File 2018 Attorney General Maura Healey called the Texas ruling misguided and dangerous
Anna Jefferson | 04 January, 2019, 23:57

"It is simply verging on ludicrous to suggest that the issue of taxability can not be severed from the rest of the ACA", said Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. However, it could eventually become the third major Obamacare case to reach the Supreme Court.

A lawyer for the House said in a filing in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas that federal legal rules give "the House an unconditional right to intervene" in the case, given that Obamacare was passed into law by Congress, and given that the Trump administration is not defending the law.

House Democrats, who view the ACA as a signature achievement of former president Barack Obama, want to seize the lawsuit as an opportunity to strike back and force Republicans to go on the record about health care as they gear up for the 2020 presidential campaign.

A federal judge has issued a stay on his decision declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. Since it is "inseverable" from the rest of the ACA - the penalty for not having insurance helps pay for the system - it renders the entire law unconstitutional, the judge said.

The appeal comes almost three weeks after O'Connor issued a decision concluding that all of the ACA is invalid because of a recent change in tax law. But the fact that Republicans remain in control of the Senate may thwart such any such effort, and it nearly certainly would be vetoed by President Trump if it did clear Congress.

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The group of Democratic attorneys general emerged past year as the main defenders of the law when the Trump administration, in an unusual move, announced that it would not defend the ACA against the lawsuit.

The appeal by 16 states and the District of Columbia consists of a single paragraph that lays out the legal steps to the appeal.

Utahns bucked a national health-care trend for 2019, increasing enrollment in Healthcare.gov insurance plans despite the repeal of the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate and slumping enrollment numbers nationwide. Becerra said the appeals court case may take a year to decide. That ruling struck down one specific provision of the ACA and, based on the nullification of that one section, held that no other part of the law could survive without it.

Democrats are using the vote to press their Republican counterparts, telling them either to agree to defend the ACA or to face the political consequences of declining to support the ACA's popular provisions, including protections for people with preexisting conditions. The Democratic state AGs are in the process of tapping newly-elected officials to join the case.

The notice of appeal was filed today in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. However, Obamacare remains in effect pending appeal, the judge clarified earlier this week.

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