Texas judge dismantles Obamacare, ruling individual mandate unconstitutional

15 December, 2018, 08:02 | Author: Stuart Potter
  • Obamacare

A federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled the entire Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional due to a recent change in federal tax law.

A coalition of 20 states argued the entire law had been invalidated by a change in tax rules previous year which eliminated a penalty for not having health insurance.

"The Court ... declares the Individual Mandate ... unconstitutional", District Judge Reed O'Connor wrote in his decision.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led the team of Democratic state attorneys general defending Obamacare in Texas, called O'Connor's ruling "misguided" and an "assault" on Americans.

The decision throws the fate of the Affordable Care Act into question just one day before open enrollment for 2019 closes.

"Perhaps it is impossible to know which minor provisions Congress would have passed absent the individual mandate", O'Connor wrote.

"There is nothing more American than ensuring that every citizen has access to the lifesaving and necessary health care they need".

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The White House hailed Friday's ruling, but said the law would remain in place pending its expected appeal to the Supreme Court.

"As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!" Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.

Obamacare is fatally flawed and should be considered null and void, a federal judge said Friday in a bombshell ruling that sides with state Republicans who argue the GOP-led Congress' decision to gut the "individual mandate" penalty for going uninsured makes the rest of the program invalid.

"Once the heart of the ACA - the individual mandate - is declared unconstitutional, the remainder of the ACA must also fall", the lawsuit said. There is no reason to not sign up while the implications of the judge's ruling are tested.

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.

"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", Mrs. Pelosi said. "It will destabilize health insurance coverage by rolling back federal policy to 2009". Three-quarters of Americans say that it is "very important" for the law to continue prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage because of medical histories, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's September tracking poll - 58% of Republicans feel the same way.

Paxton says President Donald Trump's tax plan a year ago made the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional because it did away with the tax penalty levied on those who didn't have insurance.



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