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If the case were to reach the Supreme Court it would mark the third time the justices consider a challenge to fundamental provisions of the law. The reasoning? That it's within Congress' purview to impose tax penalties. O'Connor made his decision after 18 Republican state attorneys general and two GOP governors brought their case, Rovner reports.
Why does it matter? .
"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 until age 26, and millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions", he said. 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. Saturday was the last day of open enrollment for the ACA in most states. Enrollment is already down 11 percent, likely the result of changes to the attendant tax penalties and a slashed publicity budget that hurt advertising efforts. Some observers have theorized Roberts was playing a political long game by appearing nonpolitical; others say he's keen to separate himself from partisan political wrangling. But even then, the Supreme Court wouldn't hear the case before the fall of 2019 at the earliest, with a decision unlikely before the spring of 2020 - in the midst of the presidential and congressional campaigns. Though not all lost their elections - some retired - it's still a powerful message that the ACA may be a winning issue for Democrats, and this ruling keeps it squarely in the spotlight.
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.
Mercury rising. That political reckoning is likely to hit soon.
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. Those most concerned with health care supported Democrats overwhelmingly. "Maybe less obvious are the implications of the Texas ACA decision on the health care industry", he said.
This Oct. 23, 2018, file photo shows HealthCare.gov website on a computer screen in NY.
When Congress in 2017 effectively repealed the mandate that compelled Americans to buy health insurance it "sawed off the last leg it [i.e. Obamacare] stood on", the judge held. Still, officials refute claims that their actions amounted to sabotage.
US President Donald Trump, who has vowed to dismantle his predecessor's landmark legislation, described the ruling as great news for America. "His administration has done good work revising regulations to reduce health-care costs and increase access, but the risk is that the lawsuit will cause Republicans in Congress to panic politically and strike a deal with Democrats that reinforces Obamacare". Both insurers have a total ACA exposure of more than 40 percent of EPS, followed by WellCare Health Plans Inc.at 10 percent, JPMorgan analyst Gary Taylor reminded investors in an email late Friday. "We'll have to sit down with the Democrats to do it, but I'm sure they want to do it also".
Because the Trump administration is not defending the Affordable Care Act in this case, a group of pro-Obamacare attorneys general from 16 states and the District of Columbia swooped in to take over the case. Before the ACA became law, insurance companies could charge people with pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, cancer or heart disease more for coverage, or refuse to cover them outright. "Regardless, the ACA will remain in effect for 2019, and we are optimistic that it will remain in effect thereafter".