Health Care

Federal judge in Texas rules Affordable Care Act unconstitutional

Federal judge in Texas rules Affordable Care Act unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor of Texas on Sunday gave state attorneys general until January 4 to propose a plan for the rest of the case that claimed the Affordable Care Act violated the U.S. Constitution. The judge did not grant an injunction blocking the Affordable Care Act from being in effect.

Even if you don't have an Obamacare health plan, experts say there are far-reaching implications for all consumers if the decision is allowed to stand.

Though the federal government would have paid for Medicaid expansion for the first few years, MS would have had to pay 10 percent of the cost of expansion in later years.

According to Judge O'Connor's decision, the mandate is "therefore ... unconstitutional and because the entirety of the Affordable Care Act is built around the individual mandate penalty ... the entire statute failed and was declared invalid". The Justice Department, which typically defends federal laws, asked the court to strike the law's protections for people with pre-existing conditions along with its mandate that people buy coverage, but leave the rest of the law intact.

This Oct. 23, 2018, file photo shows HealthCare.gov website on a computer screen in NY. "In the short run, this decision will be stayed pending appeals". Thus, the court found the mandate to be constitutional because Congress has the authority to levy taxes under its interstate commerce authorities.

Once the mandate tax was removed, "there's no longer a constitutional basis for Obamacare".

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.

The Affordable Care Act runs for more than 1,000 pages and includes many provisions - the exchanges for individuals that are frequently political footballs - and a long list of other measures and protections created to expand insurance coverage. "I rarely reach this conclusion, but only a results-driven policy agenda could begin to explain his absurd conclusion that Congress's 2017 decision to zero out the penalty for not buying the insurance mandated by the ACA while retaining the rest of the ACA somehow rendered the entire ACA unconstitutional".

Luckily, the ruling doesn't go into effect immediately and it should be overturned before anyone loses their coverage.

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They cite Trump's continued ownership of hotels that delegations from foreign governments sometimes patronize. Trump had neither accepted nor rejected the Democrats' offer, telling them he would take a look.

Judge O'Connor's ruling is not expected to become effective in the immediate future. If you have an Obamacare plan, it remains valid and any premium subsidy received will continue.

House Democrats campaigned this year on protecting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, but they likely won't introduce a bill specifically focused on those protections. All insurance plans are still required to provide a basic standard of benefits without lifetime caps as the law states.

Twenty states, led by Texas, filed the legal challenge to the law.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court".

Rovner says people should act as if the ACA is still in place, but the ruling opens a possibility for "an enormous disruption". There is not now a viable alternative to the law that can pass the House and Senate and get signed into law by President Trump.

The Healthcare.gov website is seen on a laptop computer on May 18, 2017 in Washington, D.C.

"On the assumption that the Supreme Court upholds, we will get great, great health care for our people", President Donald Trump told reporters during a visit Saturday to Arlington National Cemetery.

How disruptive will it be if the courts abruptly eliminate Obamacare? Those gains have translated to better health and productivity for hardworking people who once could not afford the high cost of coverage.

She said the ruling is "an unfortunate step backward for our health system that is contrary to overwhelming public sentiment to preserve pre-existing condition protections and other policies that have extended health insurance coverage to millions of Americans". Meanwhile, America's health care industry has expressed trepidation about what's likely to be a very uncertain road ahead. "More uncompensated care with more uninsured; completely upending Medicare payment systems changed by the ACA; repeal of tax increases that funded the ACA; No more employer mandate".