MI democrats respond to federal judge's ruling on Affordable Care Act

Phillip Cunningham
December 18, 2018

"If you need to sign up for health insurance you should", Rovner tells NPR's Michel Martin.

A federal judge in Texas declared the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional on Friday.

"This'll be another area where health care will be used as a political issue, way beyond one district judge making a ruling that has no immediate impact", Blunt said. Thus, the court found the mandate to be constitutional because Congress has the authority to levy taxes under its interstate commerce authorities. The reasoning? That it's within Congress' purview to impose tax penalties.

President Donald Trump, whose administration had declined to defend the ACA's mandate in the lawsuit, received the news of the Friday verdict gladly, and reiterated his commitment to implementing a new plan that would protect pre-existing conditions.

Why does it matter? .

In an email to millions of Americans on Saturday, the Trump administration tried to allay concerns caused by the court decision in the Texas case.

The ruling came a day before the deadline for open enrollment in the program commonly known as Obamacare in all of the states participating in the ACA's marketplaces, except California. Enrollment is already down 11 percent, likely the result of changes to the attendant tax penalties and a slashed publicity budget that hurt advertising efforts.

Numerous high-ranking Republican lawmakers have said they did not intend to also strike down popular provisions such as protection for people with pre-existing medical conditions when they repealed the ACA's fines for people who can afford coverage but remain uninsured. Some observers have theorized Roberts was playing a political long game by appearing nonpolitical; others say he's keen to separate himself from partisan political wrangling.

Even then, the Supreme Court wouldn't hear the case before fall 2019 at the earliest, the AP notes.

Congressional Democrats were quick to oppose the ruling in demagogic fashion.

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.

If the court were to overturn the law, it would leave the Trump administration and a divided Congress in a remarkably hard situation - scrambling to come up with an alternative that has eluded the law's critics in Washington ever since its passage in 2010. But this won't be a straightforward win for anybody: Democrats and Republicans are divided within their own parties over the best way forward, be that single-payer health care, Obamacare, a repeal or something else. "Maybe less obvious are the implications of the Texas ACA decision on the health care industry", he said.

The federal site for insurance, Healthcare.gov, is running a banner that reads, "Court's decision does not affect 2019 enrollment coverage". "The latter sawed off the last leg it stood on", he reasoned. Still, officials refute claims that their actions amounted to sabotage.

The president weighed in on the judicial process as the ruling on Friday cast great uncertainty over the US health-care system, with the expectation that the case would ultimately make its way to the Supreme Court.

Senate Democrats also want to force a Senate floor vote this week on a resolution introduced by Sen. Oh, maybe, if you're basically healthy and reasonably well-off (which makes you statistically more likely to be white, which is just a coincidence, honestly!).

The new ruling is "the third chapter in the trilogy" of major challenges to the Affordable Care Act, Henneke said.

In that context, the court ruling "spells bad news for Republicans, by allowing Democrats to replay a potent health care message that helped them flip 40 House seats: that the GOP remains hellbent on gutting Obamacare and rolling back protections for pre-existing conditions", Politico's Paul Demko and Adam Cancryn wrote.

"We've increased choice, we've increased competition, and for the first time in a long time, premiums on the exchanges are going down". The DOJ argued that the remainder of the ACA was severable and should remain in place, however. And those approval ratings made their highest jump in 2017 when the law was under existential threat, which means it could see a similar bump now.

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