On Friday a Federal Judge in Texas rule that Obamacare is unconstitutional now that Congress has eliminated a penalty for those who forgo health insurance. A group of 20 states including Texas claimed they had been harmed by an increase in the number of people on state-supported insurance rolls. They claimed that when Congress repealed the tax penalty for the individual mandate in 2017 it eliminated the U.S. Supreme Court’s rationale for finding the ACA constitutional in 2012.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor wrote “The remainder of the ACA is non-severable from the individual mandate, meaning that the Act must be invalidated in whole”.
President Donald Trump wrote in a Tweet “As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster,” President Trump tweeted following the ruling. “Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!”.
White House Press Secretary Sara Sanders said “Obamacare has been struck down by a highly respected judge. The judge’s decision vindicates President Trump’s position that Obamacare is unconstitutional. Once again, the President calls on Congress to replace Obamacare and act to protect people with preexisting conditions and provide Americans with quality affordable healthcare. We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place”.
Since Obamacare remains in effect and a replacement has yet to be passed by Congress it is unlikely to have an effect on signups for 2019 which are lower than previous years.
Obamacare has been failed legislation from the start. Healthcare costs for most Americans increased dramatically (about four times in my case). Insurers having to take on so many previously uninsured at one time, many of which did not have verifiable medical records, caused insurance companies to spike rates. Not only did costs rise dramatically for individuals but small and mid-sized businesses across America took on significant burden as rates for the employees they insure dramatically increased. In many cases employers cut hours or reduced staff to avoid ACA requirements.
I applaud Judge O’Connor for his ruling. One of the important issues for me in 2016 was repealing and replacing Obamacare. I hope that Judge O’Connor’s ruling is held up on appeal and will finally motivate Congress to pass a more effective law that is fair to all Americans.
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