Published: Mon, December 17, 2018
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

Trump hails choose’s ruling towards Obamacare as ‘nice’

Trump hails choose’s ruling towards Obamacare as ‘nice’

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

The states challenging the law were led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, both Republicans. He also reminded us that each of the nine Supreme Court justices in the 2012 case had agreed that the individual mandate was inseverable from at least some other ACA provisions (for example, the prohibition against pre-existing condition limitations).

Legal expert Timothy Jost, a supporter of the health law, said O'Connor's ruling would have repercussions for almost all Americans if it stands.

"We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court", CMS Administrator Seema Verma wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

While the court's "absurd ruling will be immediately appealed, Republicans are fully responsible for this cruel decision", she said. If the entire health law is invalidated, popular provisions that benefit Medicare beneficiaries and people with employer coverage would also be scrapped. "Opposing Obamacare has become reflexive GOP orthodoxy, but they just spent six months saying they'd protect pre-existing conditions".

"It has to be appealed for sure, but in the meantime the Republicans will once again face the question do you believe we should have health insurance accessible, affordable, and cover those with pre-existing conditions", Durbin said, pointing to what was cast as voters' top issue in November's midterm elections.

"Get it done!" the president instructed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the likely House speaker in January. She said the House "will move swiftly to formally intervene in the appeals process to uphold the life-saving protections for people with pre-existing conditions and reject Republicans' effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act".

The ruling comes a day before the end of the annual open enrollment period for insurance plans on the individual marketplace. "This decision denies coverage to more than 100 million Americans, including seniors, veterans, children, people with disabilities, hardworking Americans with low incomes, young adults on their parents' plans under age 26, and millions of Americans with preexisting conditions". In the prior year, the total enrolled was 12.2 million. Thus, the only basis on which the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate's constitutionality in the 2012 case went up the chimney with the TCJA in 2017.

This, he based on Congress' own words about the individual mandate: "The requirement is an essential part of this larger regulation of economic activity, and the absence of the requirement would undercut Federal regulation of the health insurance market".

Since then, public opinion on the overhaul has shifted from mostly negative to generally favourable.

House Democrats are talking about passing legislation that enshrines protections for medical conditions.

Trump campaigned against the Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama, but failed to repeal it in Congress. The Senate will remain in Republican hands.

"If this terrible ruling is upheld in the higher courts, it will be a disaster for tens of millions of American families, especially for people with pre-existing conditions", Schumer said in a statement.

On Friday, O'Connor ruled that after Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill passed by Congress previous year that eliminated the penalties, the individual mandate could no longer be considered constitutional.

That view is an even more expansive dismissal of the law than the Trump administration's position in court.

- The prohibition on insurers charging higher premiums to people with health problems.

"#Republicans' legal crusade against the #AffordableCareAct is a political stunt, but a unsafe one that puts health coverage and vital health protections for millions of Americans at risk", Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted Saturday.

"We need to look at the policy not through the courts but by the legislative process and I think this is the more important lesson of how critical it is for the states to now reassert themselves in their role, to step back in and to be the drivers of health care policymaking", he said.

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