Unconstitutional: Federal Judge Strikes Down Obamacare

15 December, 2018, 06:52 | Author: Keith Rowe
  • An open enrollment page on the

As judge Reed O'Connor wrote in the ruling, "Congress stated many times unequivocally-through enacted text signed by the President-that the Individual Mandate is "essential" to the ACA".

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh launched a counterattack September 13 to save the Affordable Care Act, seeking a judgment that it is constitutional and a court order barring the United States from taking any action inconsistent with that conclusion. "Today's misguided ruling will not deter us: our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and wellbeing of all Americans", said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading a coalition of states defending the ACA.

The lawsuit was brought by conservative Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, 18 other Republican attorneys general, and one governor, the Denver Post reports.

If appealed, the decision would still need to go through the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. "Further, the Court declares the remaining provisions of the ACA ... are inseverable and therefore invalid".

But Democrats are certain to wait out the case in appellate courts or recommend easier fixes to restore the mandate. It agreed that the zeroing out the penalty renders the individual mandate unconstitutional but argued that that invalidates only the law's protections of those with pre-existing conditions.


The Republican led House and Senate, under President Donald Trump, outlawed the individual mandate in the tax cut law a year ago.

Legal expert Timothy Jost, a supporter of the health law, said O'Connor's ruling would have repercussions for almost all Americans if it stands.

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

In Texas alone, there are more than 4.5 million "nonelderly adults" with pre-existing conditions that could make it hard for them to get health insurance if Obamacare went away, statistics show. Once again, the President calls on Congress to replace Obamacare and act to protect people with preexisting conditions and provide Americans with quality affordable healthcare. As Case Western Law Professor and Volokh Conspiracy contributor Jonathan Adler, who is a longtime critic of the health care law, has argued (along with others), the policy statements made as part of the original law don't really matter, not anymore, because last year's Congress told us quite clearly that they did believe the law could stand on its own without a mandate penalty.

Democratic leaders, meanwhile, reacted harshly to the decision. "When House Democrats take the gavel, the House of Representatives 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".

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