Republicans in wait-and-see mode after judge strikes a blow to Obamacare
21 December, 2018, 19:11 | Author: Judith Dennis
The judge sided with 20 Republican state attorneys general and governors, as well as two individuals, who argued that when Congress eliminated the individual mandate penalty - by reducing it to $0 - it rendered the mandate itself unconstitutional and that the rest of the law therefore can not stand.
"We have a chance, working with the Democrats, to deliver great HealthCare!" The ruling comes after Republicans stripped out the Obamacare individual mandate previous year and GOP state attorney generals filed a lawsuit against the legislation.
The Supreme Court upheld the law in 2012 and in 2015.
A controversial new ruling from a Texas court on the Affordable Care Act could land President Barack Obama's health care law at the center of a Supreme Court case. The law still works without it. Congress in its wisdom has declared that it's severable, has said, look, we're going to keep the law but remove the mandate penalty.
Now, this could be a serious problem for people who buy their health insurance from state exchanges as well as those on Medicare and Medicaid. Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have long criticized the law, calling it a costly and unneeded government intrusion into Americans' lives.
After the judge's ruling, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, "We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court".
If the trial court's ruling is upheld by the appellate courts, the ACA insurance market reforms that prohibit pre-existing condition exclusions, guarantee continued issue of insurance, require coverage for children through their parents' coverage until age 26, and assure minimum essential benefits, including preventive health benefits without copayments, will no longer be required.
Supporters of the law immediately said they would appeal.
Last year, Republicans - while attempting to repeal ObamaCare - ended up getting rid of the penalty. As a Wall Street Journal editorial noted Monday, Roberts saved the law in 2012 by describing the mandate penalty as a tax - something Congress has unquestioned authority to impose.
"The Affordable Care Act has also been up and running since 2014, which means so-called reliance interests come into play when considering a precedent".
The Texas judge ruled in favor of those arguments.
Without an immediate legal basis for the defendants to appeal, the judicial review process could result in a prolonged period of uncertainty for healthcare industry players and policymakers alike, even if the ACA is ultimately upheld again in part or whole, whether by the Fifth Circuit or Supreme Court.
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