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m3n4.net January 19, 2019


Health insurers, hospital operators fall as Obamacare ruled unconstitutional

18 December 2018, 12:56 | Tara Lloyd

Republicans Say Little About Obamacare Ruling

Sen. Susan Collins speaks with reporters about President Obama's Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland on Capitol Hill

President Donald Trump on Saturday hailed a court decision against Obamacare as "a great ruling for our country", while a USA government official said the decision by a Texas judge would have no immediate impact on health coverage.

But on Friday, Texas District Judge Reed O'Connor agreed with a coalition of 20 states that a change in tax law a year ago eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance invalidated the entire Obamacare law. An earlier Supreme Court decision upheld the ACA based on the view that the penalty was a tax and thus the law was valid because it relied on appropriate power allowed Congress under the Constitution. "I think it'll be upheld by the Supreme Court if John Roberts is intellectually honest".

"We know what Congress' intent was in 2017 - that was to pull the individual mandate while keeping the rest of ACA intact", University of MI law professor Nicholas Bagley said.

The White House applauded O'Connor's ruling, but said the law remains in place while appeals proceed. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., issued a statement on Saturday in which he said that "if the U.S. Supreme Court eventually were to agree that Obamacare is unconstitutional - which seems unlikely, however poorly the law was written - I am confident that any new federal law replacing it will continue to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions who buy health insurance". The ruling puts health coverage at risk for tens of millions of Americans, including those with chronic and pre-existing conditions, while also making it more hard for hospitals and health systems to provide access to high-quality care.

"We're going to fight this tooth and nail", Schumer said on "Meet the Press" Sunday morning. "That will either be quickly dismissed, which is one option, or a long period of time, in my view, before the circuit court deals with it".

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Because of the important role health coverage plays in Brown's day-to-day life, she has kept a close eye on any new developments involved with the law.

President Donald Trump hailed the decision as "great news for America", boasting that Congress will now create a "great" health care plan, though that will likely be hard if large numbers of the pool of uninsured Americans opt not to pay for insurance.

"Today's misguided ruling will not deter us", California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, the leader of an alliance of states opposing the lawsuit, said in a statement Friday.

"On November 6th, Americans made clear that they do not want to return to the days when just one illness or accident means a lifetime without health insurance". 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.

Actually, what healthcare officials and the former President said did not amount to defiance of Judge O'Connor's ruling, for two reasons: first, something the judge did do, and, second, something that he did not do.

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"They have no plan for insuring the uninsured".

Collins criticized the individual mandate for being a tax disproportionately on lower and middle income taxpayers, but expressed support for parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Moderate Republican Susan Collins believes the ruling will be overturned.

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. The program has since insured over 45 million people, but many Republicans oppose the law. Pingree goes on to call the ruling "absurd" and says it will be appealed.

Another dimension of the controversial case is the fact that Judge O'Connor is widely perceived as a partisan judge, raising questions about his reasoning for deciding that Obamacare must be overturned.

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