Federal Judge In Texas Declares Obamacare Law Unconstitutional

Obamacare was struck down by a Texas federal judge in a ruling that casts uncertainty on insurance coverage for millions of USA residents, drawing sharp condemnation from some medical professionals and a vow for action by top Democrats.

Even though District Judge Reed O'Connor zeroed in on the individual mandate detailed in the Affordable Care Act when he formed his opinion, his ruling nevertheless casts doubt on the future of the law's protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

In 2012, a Supreme Court ruling found that the individual mandate could be interpreted as an excessive of Congressional taxation power. Chief Justice John Roberts made the casting vote to maintain the legislation. He deemed that mandating the purchase of health insurance was unconstitutional - and thus that the whole law should be tossed out.

One thing that may happen now, perhaps as soon as this week, is that some or all of the 16 states (and Washington, D.C.) that entered the case to defend Obamacare's constitutionality will attempt to get Judge O'Connor's decision formally postponed while they appeal. "The individual mandate is essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the Affordable Care Act", the judge wrote.

The decision came just hours before the end of open enrollment for ACA plans in most states that use the federal healthcare.gov insurance exchange.

"She went home in the arms of her father and her aunt", the ministry said. "It will destabilize health insurance coverage by rolling back federal policy to 2009". "No protecting preexisting conditions, kids staying on their parent's insurance until they are 26 years old - a very popular protection - medicaid expanded for millions of Americans". Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Blue Cross and Blue Shield members can be assured that their health coverage and the financial assistance they may receive to help them afford it remains in place despite this ruling, and patients will continue to receive the care they need. Many Republican attorneys general filed a lawsuit alleging that the policy is unconstitutional. House Democrats are expected to introduce a resolution defending the law immediately after the 116th Congress is sworn in on January 3.

Finally, Republicans might not want to celebrate the ACA's demise until we know for sure what will follow it. The Supreme Court upheld this individual mandate in 2012.

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In a statement issued Friday night, the White House said: "We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court". For this reason, and because of the widespread media coverage the decision received over the weekend, you may be faced with a barrage of questions about healthcare coverage from your workers over the next few days. But with that "tax" - or penalty - having been removed starting next year, Republicans challenging the law in this case argued the program is now illegal.

"The ruling seems to be based on faulty legal reasoning and hopefully it will be overturned", said a statement from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The law now requires insurers to offer affordable coverage to everyone, regardless of their medical history or any conditions they have.

The Affordable Care Act has sharply reduced the number of uninsured Americans since 2010, covering 20 million more people than if the law had not taken effect, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

Though the federal government would have paid for Medicaid expansion for the first few years, MS would have had to pay 10 percent of the cost of expansion in later years.

Brokerage Evercore ISI said it expected no immediate impact from the ruling, calling it only a declaratory judgment and not an injunction. Pingree goes on to call the ruling "absurd" and says it will be appealed.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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