Outraged Democrats vow to challenge court ruling that undercuts Obamacare


Late in the afternoon on Friday, December 14, Federal US District Judge Reed O'Connor struck down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in its entirety, a feat that was, for the past few years, unsuccessfully attempted by the Republican-led Congress. O'Connor reasoned that if the individual mandate is no longer valid, the entire ACA must also be scrapped, because the rest of the ACA is "inseverable" from the individual mandate.

He ruled that without the individual mandate, which last year's federal tax law repealed, the health care law is unconstitutional.

Yes. In 2012, the Supreme Court reasoned that while government can not order citizens to buy something, Obamacare's "shared-responsibility payment" (a.k.a. penalty) for not having an insurance plan effectively amounts to a tax, which is an acceptable government practice.

He said because the individual mandate was an "essential" part of Obamacare, the entire law, rather than just the individual mandate, was unconstitutional.

The Senate could pass a nonbinding resolution expressing the body's support for why the decision ought to be overturned, or simply clarifying its intent when it repealed Obamacare's individual mandate.

So Obamacare is dead, right?

"We're going to fight this tooth and nail".

Democrats from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to former President Barack Obama announced this weekend that their first priority after the holidays will be to preserve the Affordable Care Act, which was declared unconstitutional (again) Friday by a Federal District Court judge. The selloff is occurring although the judge's decision will be appealed and won't affect Americans who signed up for 2019 health coverage. "This is insanity in print, and it will not stand up on appeal", tweeted University of Michigan Law School professor Nicholas Bagley, an expert in health law.

"Examine what steps the state needs to take to allow out-of-state health insurance sales".

Diabetes patient Bridgett Snelten at home in Sandy Utah. The Affordable Care Act that protects people with pre-existing conditions may fall after a federal judge in Texas ruled it unconstitutional
Obamacare is unconstitutional, judge rules | News

"Well, I actually think that judge, it was a silly ruling by the judge". As of early Monday, his Facebook post has received more than 28,000 reactions, and has been liked more than 72,000 times since he also shared it on Twitter.

No. Because Judge O'Connor stayed his decision, nothing will change immediately as appeals proceed. The original mandate was upheld in previous court rulings as a tax.

Somewhere along the process, O'Connor's ruling on severability will get a very skeptical reading by the higher courts. Congress did indeed render the individual mandate unenforceable when it reduced the penalty for not complying to zero.

Without the system being upheld by a wide pool of mandated participants, the ACA can not stand, O'Connor ruled.

But congressional leaders were quick to point out that the suit is far from over. "It is like watching a slow game of Jenga, each party poking at a different provision to see if the ACA falls".

Two top House Republicans issued diverging statements. Unfortunately, expense and bad policies are not the purview of the courts.

Even though the Trump administration has indicated it will continue to treat the ACA as active law, a slow-moving judicial review could inflict prolonged political and business uncertainty, as conservative and liberal policymakers alike renew their debates over potential ACA replacements and industry stakeholders await final word on which portions of the sprawling legislation, if any, endure. An appeal would first have to make its way through the 5th Circuit Court, and from there to the Supreme Court. How likely is Roberts to throw out the pre-existing conditions bathwater with the mandate baby?

About halfway through his post, Obama reiterated his argument that getting enrolled in the ACA is "a good way to show that you're exhausted of people trying to take away your health care". Texas has the highest number of children without health care coverage in the country, a recent report showed, and the highest overall uninsured rate in 2016.

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