California and 15 other states asked a federal judge on Monday to protect current health care coverage for millions of Americans while courts sort out the implications of his ruling that the Affordable Care Act was invalid in its entirety.
U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth agreed with a coalition of Republican states that the law needed to be eviscerated after Congress previous year zeroed out a key provision - the tax penalty for not complying with the requirement to buy insurance. The state officials contended that the elimination of the penalty nullified the effects of a 2012 Supreme Court ruling allowing the mandate and penalty. There's nearly no chance this ruling holds. On top of that, they said if the mandate is struck down, the entire law should be nullified because the provision is so vital. The invalidation of the ACA, if upheld on appeal, would affect virtually every American. Hurts families badly. We have a chance, working with the Democrats, to deliver great HealthCare! Certain providers of substance abuse treatment, emergency services and mental health services could also be negatively impacted. "The fact of the matter is that there really is no basis for striking down the entire Affordable Care Act in large measure, because the mandate was toothless and it can't be essential to the whole bill if it's toothless", Emanuel said on CNN. 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.
Thus, the ACA's insurance access and coverage requirements, protection for individuals with preexisting conditions, and provisions addressing the Medicare and Medicaid programs-including those governing Medicaid expansion-remain active and enforceable while the litigation progresses through the appeal process. Republicans, including President Donald Trump, have long criticized the law, calling it a costly and unneeded government intrusion into Americans' lives.
The Supreme Court upheld ObamaCare's individual mandate requiring individuals to purchase health insurance in 2012.
Republican state officials, led by the attorney general of Texas, filed a lawsuit previous year arguing that getting rid of the penalty rendered the mandate unconstitutional. But numerous Republicans, both during the debate on the vote on the tax law and since, have made it clear that was not what they did.
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the ruling and promised that the House of Representatives would participate in appeals after control of the legislative body passed to the Democrats in 2019. "Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place".
The President tweeted on Friday: "Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions".
The healthcare industry has long awaited a decision in Texas v. Azar, since the US District Court for the Northern District of Texas heard arguments this past September.
Most legal experts do not believe the Supreme Court would ultimately strike down the entire law, but the uncertainty could pressure stocks in the near term, brokerage Oppenheimer said.