Obamacare’s “individual mandate” requiring all Americans to have health insurance has been ruled unconstitutional by a 5th Circuit Court.
This could send Obamacare down a path towards total elimination, as the ruling of unconstitutionality calls into question whether Obama’s whole Affordable Care Act should be tossed out.
Take a look at the breaking news:
CNBC has more details on the ruling:
A federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate provision is unconstitutional but punted on deciding whether the rest of the landmark health-care law should be tossed out.
The court, in a 2 to 1 decision, is also ordering a lower court judge to reconsider whether ACA, more commonly known as Obamacare, should remain intact.
“The individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power,” the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling said. “On the severability question, we remand to the district court to provide additional analysis of the provisions of the ACA as they currently exist.”
“It may still be that none of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate, even after this inquiry is concluded,” the majority said. “It may be that all of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate. It may also be that some of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate, and some is not.”
Health policy analysts expect the issue to go all the way to the Supreme Court, which upheld Obamacare in a narrowly divided 2012 ruling. The decision Wednesday decreases the chances of a Supreme Court decision before the 2020 elections.
Texas and other Republican-led states brought the suit, which was defended by Democratic-led states and the House of Representatives. The New Orleans-based court heard arguments in July.
The suit alleged that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate was unlawful under the federal government’s taxing powers after Congress reduced the penalty for not having insurance to $0 in 2017. Texas argued that therefore the ACA must be scrapped.
The Sun Sentinel also said:
The “individual mandate" of former President Barack Obama’s health care law is invalid, but other parts of the law need further review, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
The 2-1 ruling handed down by a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans largely sidestepped what happens to some of the most popular parts of the Affordable Care Act such as protections for those with pre-existing conditions, Medicaid expansion and the ability for children under the age of 26 to remain on their parents insurance.
The panel agreed with Texas-based U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s 2018 finding that the law’s insurance requirement, the so-called “individual mandate,” was rendered unconstitutional when Congress, in 2017, reduced a tax on people without insurance to zero.
The court reached no decision on the big issue — how much of the Affordable Care Act must fall along with the insurance mandate. The Act has remained in place while the question of its future has been litigated in court.
“It may still be that none of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate, even after this inquiry is concluded. It may be that all of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate. It may also be that some of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate, and some is not," Judge Jennifer Elrod wrote.