Published: Sat, December 15, 2018
Medical | By Vernon Walton

Obamacare ruled unconstitutional by federal judge in Texas

Obamacare ruled unconstitutional by federal judge in Texas

With the mandate's repeal, the U.S. Supreme Court's 2012 ruling that Obamacare was constitutional could no longer be considered valid.

Although Democratic attorneys general, lawmakers, and policy analysts have repeatedly maintained that the TCJA zeroed out the penalty rather than eliminated it, O'Connor disagreed.

"Because rewriting the ACA without its "essential" feature is beyond the power of an Article III court, the court thus adheres to Congress' textually expressed intent and binding Supreme Court precedent to find the individual mandate is inseverable from the ACA's remaining provisions", O'Connor wrote.

Justice Department lawyers urged the judge to strike down the individual mandate and provisions requiring insurance companies to cover individuals with preexisting health conditions and charge them the same premiums as healthy individuals.

Twenty Republican-led states brought the lawsuit.

"Once again, the president calls on Congress to replace Obamacare and act to protect people with pre-existing conditions and provide Americans with quality affordable health care".

The law includes provisions that provide subsidies that help people buy coverage, its expansion of Medicaid to millions of low income people, and its protections that let people with pre-existing conditions buy insurance.

President Trump celebrated the ruling by a Bush-appointed federal judge that struck down the Affordable Care Act - or ObamaCare - "in whole".

At the time, Reed made no immediate ruling following a four-hour hearing. President Donald Trump tweeted that Congress should pass a new law.

Lawyers for the Department of Justice had suggested that O'Connor should not rule until after the open enrollment period for the 2019 plan year ends on December 15 in order to avoid disrupting the markets.

The ruling "exposes the monstrous endgame of Republicans' all-out assault" on Americans most in need of healthcare, said soon-to-be Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, vowing to act swiftly once she was returned to her rightful place in January.

US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said: "If this bad ruling is upheld in the higher courts, itwill be a disaster for tens of millions of American families".

About 20 million people have gained health insurance coverage since the ACA passed in 2010 without a single Republican vote.

California and Democratic officials in 14 states, along with the District of Columbia, won permission to defend ACA in the Fort Worth case when the Trump administration sided with the states seeking to dismantle it.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, insurers often rejected applicants who are or had been ill or offered them only limited coverage with high rates. "We want to make sure that people with pre-existing conditions have protection, and we want to make sure that people have access to affordable coverage".

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