As we power through this year-end, healthcare concerns hover over Holiday celebrations like a worrisome drone. To exacerbate the stress, Obamacare has suffered another hit. This assault could issue a mortal wound to the collective health of the American people.
Precisely on the eve of the federal insurance exchange sign up deadline, a federal judge in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to be unconstitutional due to a recent change to federal tax law. The ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor completely overturns the law nationwide.
If allowed to stand, the ruling would injure Medicare, Medicaid expansion in many states, and Native American Health Services, along with hundreds of other provisions afforded under the Affordable Care Act achieved by President Obama.
The law currently stands, pending a probable appeal to the Supreme Court.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), probable Speaker when the House convenes in January, vowed to lead House Democrats in saving the Affordable Care Act. In a recently issued statement, Minority Leader Pelosi said:
“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.”
A spokeswoman for Xavier Becerra, California Attorney General (D) who leads states’ attorneys general against the lawsuit which threatens the Affordable Care Act, stated that Democrats are ready to challenge the U.S. Court of Appeals on its unfavorable ruling.
The Supreme Court ruled the ACA as constitutional in 2012 and 2015, although the 2012 ruling denied the ACA’s nationwide expansion of Medicaid. In the 2012 ruling, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., writing for the majority, stated that the penalties issued to those who don’t sign up under the ACA law are constitutional because Congress “does have the power to impose a tax on those without health insurance”.
Although the executive branch traditionally argues to uphold existing federal law when a law is challenged by court cases, in this case, initiated as a lawsuit by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the administration stated it will not defend the ACA against the lawsuit challenge.
Legal experts anticipate an appeal to the high court in respect to the Texas case.
If interested in preserving the Affordable Care Act, contact your senators and representatives.
This communicated information was First published in The Washington Post.