Federal appeals court questions legality of Obamacare insurance mandate


The Democrats' campaign Tuesday was touched off by a legal challenge to the ACA by a group of Republican-led states, spearheaded by Texas, arguing the health care law should be voided because the tax penalty on those who don't buy health insurance was eliminated.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Leader Chuck Schumer and House and Senate Democrats held a press conference showing the faces of Americans who would be hurt if the Trump Administration and Republicans succeed in their effort to strike down protections for people with pre-existing conditions and the entire Affordable Care Act in Texas v. U.S.

An appellate ruling declaring Obamacare unconstitutional could prompt an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, opening the door for the top court to take up the issue in the midst of the presidential election.

Data shows the signature achievement of the Obama Administration has led to almost 20 million Americans gaining health coverage, protections for some 133 million people with pre-existing conditions, and tax credits for consumers to afford insurance. Traditionally, an administration - even one that did not work to pass the law in question - defends existing law in court.

Romano declined to say whether a court-ordered end of the ACA would hurt Connecticut Republicans politically, but said Democrats "are grasping at straws" with their attacks on those who oppose the health care law.

Twenty states, led by California and Democratic lawmakers, are working to preserve the Affordable Care Act. "The Supreme Court discussed this conundrum and said it's a reasonable way, especially when we have a complicated statute that covers a lot of ground".

"The entire basis", for the 2012 decision, Texas solicitor general Kyle Hawkins argued Tuesday, "is now off the table".

"The reinstatement of lifetime caps or the elimination of essential health benefits will hinder his family's ability to access the care Conner needs", Blumenthal said.

And apparently two out the three judges on the appeals court panel are ready to give it a thumbs-up. A GOP plan in Congress to replace the ACA, the American Health Care Act, did not find enough support. "This time, they're trying a lawsuit that would drive up costs, eliminate coverage protections, and rip health coverage away from millions".

The judges hearing the arguments were 5th Circuit Judges Carolyn Dineen King, Jennifer Walker Elrod and Kurt Engelhardt.

Trump, who has vowed to protect coverage for preexisting conditions despite supporting the lawsuit to unwind the law, has sent mixed signals about when the party will come up with a new health care proposal.

First, in a ruling legal scholars generally saw as wacky, Reed O'Connor, a right-wing district court judge, astonished the country last December by throwing out the Affordable Care Act altogether. The rest of the law should stay, the Justice Department argued.

For their part, some Republican Senators seem to be hoping the law survives, as they feel that throwing the ACA out entirely could cause pandemonium within the health care system. President Donald Trump's Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 removed this penalty and with it any claim of taxation.

If the Fifth Circuit's ruling is appealed to the Supreme Court, four of the nine justices must agree to hear the appeal. "Health care - the issue that dogged Republican candidates in the 2018 midterms more than any other - would nearly certainly take a starring role in the 2020 campaign".

"If the Trump administration has its way in court, almost two million Alabamians with pre-existing conditions will lose critical protections, insurance companies will be able to charge women more than men and health insurance costs will go up for all Alabamians, even those with employer-based coverage", Sewell said.