Medicine

Obamacare is unconstitutional, judge rules

Obamacare is unconstitutional, judge rules

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor ruled on Friday that the law's individual mandate is unconstitutional. Opponents of the suit have vowed to appeal. Saturday was the last day of open enrollment for the ACA in most states.

What happens if the ruling is upheld?

Since it's enactment over 20 million people have gained health insurance coverage. "Young adults counting on remaining on their parents' insurance until the age of 26 would be suddenly booted into uninsured status".

While the decision will not have any immediate effect on the day-to-day provisions of the ACA, it will certainly add to confusion and uncertainty about the future of a law that has been subject to multiple legal challenges and intense manipulation in the political sphere. Judge O'Connor first found the individual mandate unconstitutional, on grounds that in eliminating the mandate's enforcement penalty in 2017, Congress left the mandate in place but rendered it unconstitutional by eliminating the constitutional source for its enactment, the taxing power.

Judge O'Connor's sweeping ruling finds that since the "individual mandate "is essential to" and inseverable from "the other provisions of the ACA"... the remaining provisions of the ACA..."

The president weighed in on the judicial process as the ruling on Friday cast great uncertainty over the US health-care system, with the expectation that the case would ultimately make its way to the Supreme Court.

Insurance and physicians' groups were less enthusiastic. Gone would be limits on annual out-of-pocket expenses, which provide greater financial protection for people with job-based coverage.

"They have no plan for insuring the uninsured". The ACA, while providing limited protections for ordinary Americans, has funneled hundreds of millions into the coffers of the private insurers by forcing people to buy insurance or pay a penalty.

"It will destabilize health insurance coverage by rolling back federal policy to 2009". President Donald Trump tweeted that Congress should pass a new law. The final enrollment numbers won't be released until later this month by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

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Congressional Democrats were quick to oppose the ruling in demagogic fashion. Some Republicans voiced optimism that the ruling would open the door for cooperation between Democrats and Republicans to fix the health care law, but with the 2020 election cycle already under way, ramped up political bickering may be more likely than a bipartisan path forward. The Republicans campaigned heavily on "repealing and replacing" the ACA ("Obamacare") in 2016, pointing to massive increases in premiums for health insurance plans as evidence that the law was failing.

In a call with reporters on Monday, Democratic Attorneys General Association Co-chair Mark Herring, Virginia's attorney general, said the defendants are still developing a strategy for the most "appropriate and expeditious way" to lodge an appeal.

"If this decision doesn't get stayed or overturned soon, you are going to have a humanitarian catastrophe on your hands virtually overnight", said Sen. Kodjak notes Congress voted multiple times in 2017 to repeal the ACA but did not succeed.

Because the mandate penalty was zeroed-out, it no longer would generate revenue and can not be deemed an exercise of congressional tax power, he said. Hurts families badly. We have a chance, working with the Democrats, to deliver great HealthCare!

However, they have mounted only symbolic opposition to the Trump administration's assault on the social programs depended upon by millions of Americans to survive. No amount of federal subsidies would protect them.

Where some saw chaos, President Trump saw opportunity. At the same time, they have voted to fund the Pentagon's $717 billion budget to pursue the United States military's criminal interventions across the globe.

The new ruling is "the third chapter in the trilogy" of major challenges to the Affordable Care Act, Henneke said.

The clincher. Chief Justice John Roberts' ruling in favor of the ACA six years ago surprised observers, not least conservatives who were expecting him to strike it down.

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