Published: Tue, December 18, 2018
Medicine | By Rogelio Lindsey

Trump hails judge's ruling against Obamacare as 'great'

Trump hails judge's ruling against Obamacare as 'great'

O'Connor's decision said that without that penalty, the law no longer met that constitutional test. The rest of the law can not be separated from that provision and is therefore invalid, he wrote. And, if that appeals court says no, the states favoring the law can take that request to the Supreme Court.

"As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!"

Another threat. Shortly before the Texas ruling, news broke of leaked emails from the Trump administration that discussed how cutting 90 percent of the advertising budget for HealthCare.gov would likely cause sign-ups to plummet. Numerous high-ranking Republican lawmakers have said they did not intend to also strike down popular provisions such as protection for people with pre-existing medical conditions when they repealed the ACA's fines for people who can afford coverage but remain uninsured.

Democrats in Congress intend to intervene and appeal, according to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to become House speaker next month.

"Lots of Republicans were running ads during the midterms saying they were the ones who were going to protect people's health care, and specifically protect people with pre-existing conditions", Kodjak says. No one can predict how an appeals court or the U.S. Supreme Court will treat this decision as the case winds its way up the judicial system on review, and it remains to be seen whether a fractured Congress and the president can develop revisions to the law that would satisfy the courts and the American people. "Such as coverage of people with pre-existing conditions, the mandated benefits for substance abuse and mental illness treatment, and also allowing young people to stay on their parents' policies until age 26".

On the off chance that O'Connor's decision is upheld, however, up to 20 million Americans could lose their health insurance.

California and the other defendant states will challenge the ruling with an appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, the Times reported.

But the ongoing court battles over the law are likely to proceed eventually to the Supreme Court, where President Donald Trump's appointees, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, could rule against the law.

Healthcare, as a federal entitlement, has deeply divided the two major political parties, especially since Obamacare was first enacted in 2010.

Jost noted that in the 2012 case in which the Supreme Court upheld the ACA, a lower appeals court had found the individual mandate unlawful, but ruled it could be severed from the rest of the law. What's more, Republican efforts to repeal the ACA failed in the same Congress. House Democrats are expected to introduce a resolution defending the law immediately after the 116th Congress is sworn in on January 3. It's unclear what form that would take, or if the Republican-majority Senate would go along and Trump would sign it.

"The remainder of the ACA is non-severable from the individual mandate, meaning that the Act must be invalidated in whole", O'Connor, whose District Court is based in Texas, wrote in his a 55-page opinion, cited by Bloomberg. "People who castigate judges as "activists" whenever they reach liberal results had better step up to the plate and join those across the spectrum who are condemning this latest ruling as way outside the legal ballpark".

The law now requires insurers to offer affordable coverage to everyone, regardless of their medical history or any conditions they have. That includes a prohibition on insurers writing policies that exclude a particular condition - for example, a recurrence of breast cancer.

The health insurance industry says doing away with consumer protections will destabilize a market that seems to be finding its footing, with modest premium increases and more plan choices next year.

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