January 19, 2019

The new ObamaCare ruling will be overturned and could backfire on Republicans

21 December 2018, 10:59 | Rodolfo Wallace

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

Last year, Republicans - while attempting to repeal ObamaCare - ended up getting rid of the penalty.

He added, "Not only does tonight's ruling confirm that this broken law can not hold up under court scrutiny, but it also affirms that the law does not actually protect people with preexisting conditions".

The Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare's individual mandate requiring individuals to purchase health insurance in 2012. But because O'Connor issued no injunction against the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare will continue to operate as the decision is appealed. He's right that Democrats claimed the individual mandate was essential to the Affordable Care Act. 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.

In dismissing the requests of both the administration and the intervenor states, Texas federal district court Judge Reed O'Connor held that the entire law is invalid and unconstitutional. The rest of the law can not be separated from that provision and is therefore invalid, he wrote. "Today's misguided ruling will not deter us: our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and well-being of all Americans", said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading a coalition of states defending the ACA.

Thus, the ACA's insurance access and coverage requirements, protection for individuals with preexisting conditions, and provisions addressing the Medicare and Medicaid programs-including those governing Medicaid expansion-remain active and enforceable while the litigation progresses through the appeal process.

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Congress is unlikely to act while the case remains in the courts.

Alternatively, the US House of Representatives, which will have a Democratic majority next term, has indicated that it may seek to intervene in the litigation when the new Congress convenes in 2019. She said the House "will move swiftly to formally intervene in the appeals process to uphold the life-saving protections for people with pre-existing conditions and reject Republicans' effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act".

The ruling will be appealed and most likely end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Hill was included in a coalition of 20 GOP state attorneys general who argued that when Congress reduced the law's individual mandate by reducing it to $0 while passing the 2017 tax cut bill, it had removed the legality of the mandate that all Americans either become insured or pay a tax penalty. "Millions of people now rely on ObamaCare's subsidies and rules, which argues against judges repealing the law by fiat", the editorial board said. "So we have seen empirically that the law - that it is severable".

Judge O'Connor breezes past this like a liberal Ninth Circuit appeals judge handling a Donald Trump appeal.

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