Health Care

Affordable Care Act: US court to weigh its constitutionality

Affordable Care Act: US court to weigh its constitutionality”

A hearing in the health care case - Texas vs. USA - is scheduled for Tuesday.

But in a surprise move in March, the Justice Department said it now agrees with the December ruling that the entire Affordable Care Act should be struck down.

A multistate coalition including Washington is appealing the decision of a federal district court judge in Texas declaring the ACA invalid, including its guarantee of coverage for those with preexisting conditions.

"Why is a command not a command?"

A coalition of Democratic state attorneys general led by California's Xavier Becerra stepped up to defend the signature achievement of Trump's Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama. "If this is no longer a tax, then what happens?"

"You establish something until we gather back together, and we collectively, as a body, determine what the best path forward is", Hancock said.

For almost two hours in a New Orleans courtroom, the judges - two Republican appointees and one by Democratic President Jimmy Carter - voiced skepticism about arguments that the individual mandate is now essentially just a toothless government suggestion.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi emphasized the Democratic party's commitment to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at a news conference today.

"You are instructed to save everything [in the law] you can unless it's evident that Congress would not have meant that, would have preferred no statute", countered attorney Doug Letter, arguing on behalf of the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives. Later that year, Congress passed a measure that repealed the tax penalty but left the rest of Obamacare intact.

People protest in Miami, Fla., Aug. 3, 2017, against cuts to Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. The Justice Department took the position that the individual mandate was unconstitutional and therefore the guaranteed issue and community-rating provisions, which it said relied on the individual mandate, were inseverable.

A federal appeals court panel grilled Democratic attorneys general on Tuesday about whether Obamacare violates the U.S. Constitution, as it weighs whether to uphold a Texas judge's ruling striking down the landmark healthcare reform law.

"As it stands today, the Affordable Care Act presents a stand-alone command to buy an insurance product that the federal government deems suitable and it does so without raising even a dime of revenue", argued Texas solicitor general Kyle Hawkins. "The text of the ACA declares that mandate essential to the law and the goals that Congress wanted to achieve". At first, the Trump administration said some of the law should remain. The losing side is all but certain to appeal the 5th Circuit panel's decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, though the high court could decide not to review the case.

"Seniors paying for drugs and Medicare and the young people on their parents' health insurance plans until the age of 26 will be affected".

But he wanted to make clear one point: "There is not a single Republican senator who believes people with chronic and/or expensive pre-existing conditions shouldn't have access to quality, affordable health care", Toomey said. "The health and wellbeing of almost every American is at risk". At stake: the subsidized health coverage of roughly 1 million Texans, sweeping protections for patients with preexisting conditions, young adults staying on their parents' insurance plans until age 26 and a host of low-priced benefits available to all people with health insurance, including those covered through their employers. The intervening states also argue that more than 20 million people will lose healthcare coverage gained through the Medicaid expansion and Marketplace individual policies if the ACA is nullified, and that important safeguards, such as a ban against pre-existing conditions, would be eliminated.

The Trump administration had initially opposed certain parts of the law tied to the mandate. Republicans were unsuccessful at repealing and replacing the law in 2017 when they controlled both chambers and the White House.



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