Why current court battle represents existential threat to Obamacare
Jul 10 2019
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments beginning on Tuesday over the latest legal challenge against the landmark legislation, which expands insurance access to millions while mandating every American gets health insurance or pays a tax. "That argument goes against well-established legal principles", Weiser said.
The Trump administration, which in 2018 made the unusual decision not to defend the law, now fully backs Texas' lawsuit and is urging a full repeal.
In January, after a federal judge in Texas declared the entirety of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, Attorney General Dana Nessel, with the support of and in coordination with Governor Whitmer, filed a motion on behalf of the State of MI to intervene in the lawsuit.
And he said determining which parts of a law can be salvaged and which must be removed is clearly a task for the courts, established by Supreme Court precedent. And he said Supreme Court precedent dictates that the courts should strive to uphold as numerous law's provisions as possible.
As Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod questioned the law's supporters attorneys for 20 Democratic-leaning states and the House of Representatives she said the law's "command" that people buy insurance appeared intact without the tax penalty and she questioned the mandate's constitutionality.
An appellate ruling declaring Obamacare unconstitutional could prompt an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, opening the door for the top court to take up the issue in the midst of the presidential election.
A coalition of Republican-led states headed by Texas sued, alleging the tax penalty's elimination rendered Obamacare unconstitutional.
The fate of former President Barack Obama's health care initiative, the Affordable Care Act, is once again in jeopardy.
Republicans have repeatedly tried to repeal Obamacare since its 2010 passage. In that ruling, conservative justices rejected the argument that Congress could require everyone to buy insurance under the Constitution's interstate commerce clause. But Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court's four liberal members to hold the mandate was a valid exercise of Congress's tax power.
Republican Governor Chris Sununu said Tuesday he intends to the sign the bill authored by Senate Democrats. "Stripped of its tax status, the individual mandate is nothing more than an unconstitutional congressional mandate to purchase health insurance". But this year the first time no fines will be collected the number of people signing up for subsidized private insurance through the Affordable Care Act slipped only slightly. The third judge on the panel, Carolyn Dineen King, was appointed by President Jimmy Carter. Elrod was nominated by President George W. Bush in 2007.
"Another year of stable enrollment", Seema Verma, who oversees the marketplaces as administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said in March after the agency released a report showing 11.4 million people signed up for coverage on the marketplaces for 2019, just shy of the total the year before.
The mandate compelled healthy people to buy insurance to offset sicker patients' costs after Obamacare barred insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions.
"Congress can fix this", said Judge Kurt Engelhardt, an appointee of President Trump. Half of Democrats' campaign ads during the midterm elections focused its messaging on health care and the law.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi emphasized the Democratic party's commitment to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at a news conference today.