Published: Tue, December 18, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

'Five-alarm fire' breaks out over ruling to ax Care Act

'Five-alarm fire' breaks out over ruling to ax Care Act

The political fight over replacing Obamacare, the last USA president's signature healthcare policy, all but ended past year when Republicans failed to pass a bill replacing it.

Polls consistently show strong public support for the ACA guarantee of coverage regardless of pre-existing health conditions - an issue Democrats used with great success in last month's midterm elections as they won control of the House of Representatives.

HealthCare.gov, the government's site for signing up, was taking applications Saturday, the deadline in most states for enrolling for coverage next year, and those benefits will take effect as scheduled January 1.

Robert Henneke, who represented Neill Hurley and John Nantz, two successful consumer-plaintiffs in the lawsuit, gave an exclusive interview to The Epoch Times.

Democratic Rep. Joe Kennedy said "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".

"You might have heard about a federal court decision on a Republican lawsuit trying to strike down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety".

Schumer, the Senate minority leader, said Sunday that he is going to renew an effort to force a vote on getting the chamber to go to court in defense of the health care law.

The Democrat-led coalition jumped in to defend the health care law in this case due to the inaction of the U.S. Justice Department. "It is a proper role for the states". Saturday was the last day of open enrollment for the ACA in most states.

Earlier this year, CT tried to pass a state mandate, but the effort failed. The court's conservatives, however, disagreed, opposing the law due to their view that the ACA unconstitutionally compels citizens to purchase a product. An earlier Supreme Court decision upheld the ACA based on the view that the penalty was a tax and thus the law was valid because it relied on appropriate power allowed Congress under the Constitution. A court injunction of some kind to temporarily forestall the administrative dismantling of the Affordable Care Act pending those appeals seems likely.

But if the latest legal challenge to ObamaCare ends up before the Supreme Court, the outcome is far from certain.

Officials with MNsure, the state of Minnesota's health insurance exchange, issued a statement Saturday that the court ruling "will not affect MNsure's open enrollment period, (Minnesotans') current coverage or their coverage in 2019".

Henneke outlined the Affordable Care Act's journey through the courts. The law still works without it. Congress in its wisdom has declared that it's severable, has said, look, we're going to keep the law but remove the mandate penalty.

The 2012 case was over whether such a penalty was legal - but now that it is gone, O'Connor said, the whole ACA should be stricken down because that provision is "the keystone" of the program. Sixteen states took the opposite position and argued the changed statute should be upheld.

If the court were to overturn the law, it would leave the Trump administration and a divided Congress in a remarkably hard situation - scrambling to come up with an alternative that has eluded the law's critics in Washington ever since its passage in 2010.

"We know what Congress' intent was in 2017 - that was to pull the individual mandate while keeping the rest of ACA intact", University of MI law professor Nicholas Bagley said. "The Individual Mandate is essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA".

Since the individual mandate penalty was dropped to $0, the Supreme Court's ruling of the law is now a different one than was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, the judge reasoned.

Health-care stocks were among the worst performers in the S&P 500 selloff Monday as hospitals and insurance stocks sink on a judge's ruling Friday that Obamacare is unconstitutional.

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