Health Care

Healthcare reacts to ACA ruling: from 'disastrous' to 'an excellent opportunity'

Healthcare reacts to ACA ruling: from 'disastrous' to 'an excellent opportunity'

Without that penalty, O'Connor ruled, the mandate is no longer a tax and thus violates the Constitution - and, because the mandate can not be separated from the rest of Obamacare, the judge said, the entire law is also invalid.

"There's no reason why the individual mandate provision can't be struck down and keep all the good provisions of the Affordable Care Act", Collins said on "State of the Union" on CNN.

O'Connor agreed with Texas and other Republican-led states that challenged the law that the elimination of the penalty rendered the requirement to have health insurance unconstitutional. He deemed that mandating the purchase of health insurance was unconstitutional - and thus that the whole law should be tossed out.

O'Connor did not issue an injunction preventing enforcement of the law.

The plaintiffs were helped by the fact that the Trump Administration's Department of Justice failed to take on its duty of offering a defense of the law, a decision that enforced the appearance that the case was largely motivated by politics. His ruling is sure to be appealed, first to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans and potentially to the Supreme Court, and the White House said the law will remain in place as the appeal process plays out.

"I think we can look back over the last few years and take away some lessons that we can implement at the state level to drive back down costs but also provide for choice of health care provider, and also to look at the regulatory system of insurance and ways that we can restore the relationship between doctor and patient", he said. "The main logic there is the mandate is so essential to the law that nothing in the law can stand without the mandate".

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"Our team worked around the clock over the weekend, and we're planning to imminently challenge Friday's decision", the spokesperson said.

"If this decision doesn't get stayed or overturned soon, you are going to have a humanitarian catastrophe on your hands virtually overnight", said Sen.

The Democrats' first step will be in the courts; aides to current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said Saturday that House Democrats would move quickly to notify the Trump administration that they intend to intervene in the case. They don't want to insure the uninsured. The court's decision is likely to further heighten the focus and level of congressional action, especially among Democrats, although many Republicans also worry about both the practical and political consequences.

Nineteen states, including Texas, and consumers then filed suit contending that the revised law was unconstitutional because the individual mandate was so integral to the law that it could not function without it.

At a rally for Hyde-Smith in November, Trump claimed that "right here in MS we've opened affordable plans that are up to 56 percent cheaper than the disaster known as Obamacare".

This proposal, not yet finalized, would increase exchange subsidies and make more people eligible for them.

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While that bill would prevent insurers from outright refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions or from charging them higher premiums, it would also allow them to exclude coverage for pre-existing conditions from their plans altogether.

One legal expert, who supports the ACA, has warned that O'Connor's ruling would have repercussions for almost all Americans if it stands.

"The ACA has layer and layer of protections", Jost said.

In 2017, Congress approved the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which zeroed out the tax penalty associated with the individual mandate.

Legal analysts continue to pan the merits of the lawsuit. The decision risks throwing the nation's health care system into turmoil should it be upheld on appeal. After Congress repealed the individual mandate in 2017, O'Connor said the rest of the law fell apart. "Today's misguided ruling will not deter us: our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and wellbeing of all Americans", said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading a coalition of states defending the ACA.

Even if only the marketplace and insurance reforms were invalidated, the implications would be far reaching, as nearly 12 million Americans received insurance through the exchange marketplace in 2018, and those provisions also affect the scope, pricing and availability of health insurance coverage to individuals well beyond just the individual exchange marketplace, including those with pre-existing conditions.

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