Friday, 18 January, 2019

Dems lash out at judge for ruling Obamacare unconstitutional

Attorney General Curtis Hill signed Indiana onto the lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate Attorney General Curtis Hill signed Indiana onto the lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate
Melissa Porter | 21 December, 2018, 06:44

A USA federal judge in Texas ruled on Friday that the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional, a decision that was likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court, Trend reports citing Reuters.

Hospital chains HCA Inc. and Tenet Healthcare Corp. dropped 7 percent and 4 percent respectively when markets opened Monday.

The main provision in question is that of the individual mandate, which requires that everyone must have health insurance.

With uncertainly roiling sector shares, some sensed an opportunity and stepped in.

President Donald Trump applauded the judge's decision.

Despite the ruling, however, the White House has announced that the law will remain in place until an appeal is heard by the US Supreme Court. In a 55-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor ruled Friday that last year's tax cut bill knocked the constitutional foundation from under "Obamacare" by eliminating a penalty for not having coverage.

Democratic lawmakers hit back against a federal of 19 states that argued several key provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare", are unconstitutional.

Supporters of the law immediately said they would appeal. Now that republicans have learned that they can not repeal the bill via legislation (despite controlling the House and Senate), they are now trying to dismantle the law via the court system.

"This (ruling) is about, first of all, throwing people off of their insurance, no protection with pre-existing conditions, kids staying on their parents' insurance until they're 26 years old - a very popular and important protection - Medicaid expanded for millions of Americans", she said during an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation".

Spokespersons for the health care industry, for hospitals and other medical providers, and operators of the state-run health insurance "exchanges" (marketplaces where insurance is available under Obamacare) have complained that there would be utter chaos if Judge O'Connor's ruling would go into effect in practical terms.

Mr Trump, writing on Twitter, called the Texas ruling "Great news for America!" and said Obamacare was an "unconstitutional disaster".

The only thing that could upstage this court controversy would be if Congress were to take action to pass a new healthcare law to totally replace Obamacare or to make sufficient changes in it to save its constitutionality.

Sen. Susan Collins arrives on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Oct. 4, 2018.

"Today's misguided ruling will not deter us".

Last year, 8.8 million people signed up for coverage under the federally run health insurance marketplace by the deadline.

"They found one judge to agree, and now Medicaid expansion could be gone, pre-existing condition protections could be wiped out, prices skyrocket and millions lose insurance".

"The court ... declares the Individual Mandate UNCONSTITUTIONAL", he wrote in his judgment.

Since the suit was filed in January, many health-law specialists have viewed its logic as weak but nevertheless have regarded the case as the greatest looming legal threat to the 2010 law, which has been a GOP whipping post ever since and assailed repeatedly in the courts.