Published: Fri, December 21, 2018
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

US judge finds obamacare unconstitutional

US judge finds obamacare unconstitutional

A federal judge in Texas ruled that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional, putting millions of Americans at risk of losing their health insurance.

Hospital chains HCA Inc. and Tenet Healthcare Corp. dropped 7 percent and 4 percent respectively when markets opened Monday.

With uncertainly roiling sector shares, some sensed an opportunity and stepped in.

"Today's decision by a district court judge - backed by President Trump - is politics at its worst and threatens access to care for millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions", Durbin said.

The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in both 2012 and 2015, and even with the change in the court since then, those who upheld the law remain on the bench. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., issued a statement on Saturday in which he said that "if the U.S. Supreme Court eventually were to agree that Obamacare is unconstitutional - which seems unlikely, however poorly the law was written - I am confident that any new federal law replacing it will continue to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions who buy health insurance".

The former president tried to be reassuring after a federal judge in Texas ruled the entire law unconstitutional on Friday night. "As the decision makes its way through the courts, which will take months, if not years, the law remains in place and will likely stay that way".

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Hill says he expects the ruling will be challenged through the appeal process.

"In the interim, it provides Congress with a real opportunity recognizing that Obamacare is on life support to pull together and make a determination of the things that we need to do to provide sufficient healthcare for all Americans including pre-existing conditions", he said, after show host Steve Doocy complained his own daughter has deductibles on her own Obamacare plan that are too hard to meet. O'Connor ruled once before on an issue arising from the ACA, issuing a nationwide injunction two years ago on an Obama administration rule that forbade health-care providers to discriminate based on gender identity. O'Connor agreed with Republican officials in 20 states who brought the case by calling the mandate "essential to and inseverable from" the entire law. In his ruling he wrote, "Individual Mandate can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress's Tax Power and is still impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause-meaning the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional".

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.

"It once again puts Republicans in Washington on the spot", Sen.

"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. The ACA has already survived more than 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts and withstood scrutiny in the Supreme Court".

In his ruling, O'Connor reasoned that the body of the law could not be surgically separated from its now-meaningless requirement for people to have health insurance.

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