Friday, 18 January, 2019

Chuck Schumer Urges Congressional Vote Rejecting Obamacare Ruling

Supreme court The US Supreme Court looks set to consider next year whether Obamacare is unconstitutional Credit AFP
Melissa Porter | 17 December, 2018, 18:25

"We'll sit down with the Democrats, if the Supreme Court upholds, we'll be sitting down with the Democrats and we will get great health care for our people, that's a repeal and replace", Trump said.

"It's a great ruling for our country. And for (Republicans) just to throw up their hands and say, "Well, it'd be great if we just started from scratch" - that's not what the American people believe; just look at the results from the last election". Trump on Saturday said he welcomed talks with Democrats, but as a practical matter, nothing will happen in Congress until after Democrats take over the House on January 3. The Democrats' House victories have taken repeal off the table for the next two years.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is urging a congressional vote to save the affordable care act saying the ruling quote "an very bad decision". Trump wrote on Twitter.

Schumer, on the other hand, joined his fellow Democrats Sunday in bashing O'Connor's ruling, calling it "an bad ruling" and calling on Congress to vote to intervene in the case on the side of Obamacare, alongside several Democratic attorneys general who will appeal the ruling.

By ignoring that Congress specifically declined to strike down the ACA in 2017 when it chose to alter only one portion of the bill, she said, the judge decreed that the 2010 Congress, which first passed the law, has more authority than the same legislative body in 2017. Trump campaigned against it in 2016. Capitol Hill Republicans are now stuck between their antipathy for the 2010 law and the real-world difficulty of offering low-cost health care coverage that protects sicker Americans.

For that reason, if the ruling were to take effect, it could create major disruptions across the USA health-care system - affecting which drugs patients can buy, preventive services for older Americans, the expansion of Medicaid in most states and the structure of the Indian Health Service. Adding the state-run exchanges, that number exceeded 11 million. Analysts have cast doubt on the plaintiff states' arguments, and Chief Justice Roberts remains the swing vote at the Supreme Court despite the conservative majority ushered in by Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Two days after the November 6 U.S. congressional elections, a Reuters/Ipsos national opinion poll found that healthcare was the top issue Americans wanted the U.S. Congress to address. "Today's misguided ruling will not deter us: our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and well-being of all Americans", said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading a coalition of states defending the ACA.

While the court's "absurd ruling will be immediately appealed, Republicans are fully responsible for this cruel decision", she said. He said judges who find that portions of laws are invalid are required "to do as little damage as possible" to the rest of the law, and O'Connor had ignored that principle. But, "O'Connor is so far off the reservation here that virtually any (appeals) panel will reverse him", Jost said.

And because the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare - and the individual mandate - under the basis the law's penalty is actually a "tax", and therefore legal under Congress' constitutionally-based taxing power, without the individual mandate, O'Connor said Obamacare must be "invalidated as a whole". Leerink analyst Ana Gupte expects the judge's decision will be overturned either by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals next year or the Supreme Court in 2020.