Texas judge rules 'Obamacare' unconstitutional, so now what?

Pearl Mccarthy
December 19, 2018

"The Texas court ruling declaring the ACA as unconstitutional will not have an immediate effect on MS", said Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney.

"I thought it was a thoughtful opinion, but clearly the status quo will be maintained pending appeals to the Circuit Court and the Supreme Court", Texas Senator John Cornyn, the chamber's second-ranking Republican, said Monday. O'Connor, however, did not issue an injunction to stop federal and state governments from enforcing the law. It's too soon to say what the ruling will mean for the fate of the law since it is expected to face appeal and likely end up before the Supreme Court. "The interests of all parties, and of the public, will be best served by prompt appellate review", the document says.

An estimated 17 million Americans depend on the ACA, also known as "Obamacare".

"I was one of those people", Buckhalter said.

Many health-policy experts questioned O'Connor's legal judgement and pointed to his long history of favouring conservative positions and attacking the ACA. That's the same demagoguery Democrats used in the midterm elections.

The former president tried to be reassuring after a federal judge in Texas ruled the entire law unconstitutional on Friday night. Congress did indeed render the individual mandate unenforceable when it reduced the penalty for not complying to zero. In a crucial step in his logic, O'Connor then held that because the individual mandate is so important to the overall law, the whole thing can no longer stand. At the same time, a majority of the judges agreed that the expansion of Medicaid was unconstitutional because states hadn't received enough notice to consent to the change.

"We'll be sitting down with the Democrats and we will get great health care for our people; that's a repeal and replace, handled a bit differently", Trump said, according to Axios.

O'Connor's decision determined that when Congress reduced the ACA's individual mandate - or penalty for not having health insurance - to $US0, the rest of the law became effectively unconstitutional.

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But while Republican congressional leaders appear to be arguing that at least for now this remains an issue for the courts to resolve, President Donald Trump has seized on the ruling to immediately turn attention to Congress. Judge O'Connor further ruled that the individual mandate was essential to the ACA, and if it fails, the entire statute fails. Eliminating the entire Affordable Act wasn't the objective of eliminating the individual mandate, Gluck says; the legislators only intend to alter it. Because of that, the rest of the law - which they say hinges on the mandate - should be invalidated. The Kentucky Republican said in an October interview that it wasn't a mistake for the Trump administration to back the lawsuit because "it's no secret that we preferred to start over" on health care.

Dick Durbin says he's not sure that the U.S. Supreme Court will save the Affordable Care Act.

She said for all of 2019, the ACA is intact. that's good news for Williams, who says she's thankful, but admits she's already anxious about 2020. "This decision does not require that HHS make any changes to any of the ACA programs it administers or its enforcement of any portion of the ACA at this time".

The brief also asks, procedurally, for a quick appeal process.

Fortunately, President Trump is using his regulatory power to accomplish precisely what these states want: relief from ObamaCare's rigid regulations.

At stake in the case are subsidies that have expanded insurance coverage to millions of Americans, as well as popular provisions in the law that protect sick people from being denied coverage or charged higher prices, a ban on lifetime limits, and allowing people under 26 to stay on a parent's plan.

How does the ruling affect open enrollment?

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