Future of ObamaCare in doubt after latest appeals court hearing

Future of ObamaCare in doubt after latest appeals court hearing

As they push a federal court to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump administration lawyers are arguing the law is no longer workable because Congress eliminated a penalty on people who don't have health insurance.

California and 19 other mostly Democratic states, along with the District of Columbia and the U.S. House of Representatives, now controlled by Democrats, jumped in to defend the law after the Trump administration made a decision to side with the red states that want it struck down.

Attorneys for states hoping to save President Barack Obama's health care law have been hit with some intense and occasionally skeptical questioning from appellate judges in a New Orleans federal court. If they uphold a lower court ruling invalidating the law in its entirety, the decision would nearly certainly bring the ACA back before the Supreme Court - but it could push the messy USA health care system into even greater chaos, creating widespread uncertainty for millions of Americans who stand to lose coverage.

More than 20 million Americans obtained health coverage starting in 2014 through the ACA's independent insurance exchanges, federal subsidies or expanded Medicaid. But in 2017, the Republican-led Congress zeroed out the penalty, effectively making it a blanket government order.

When the law was proposed, friends and foes of "Obamacare" agreed that the tax was essential to persuade healthy people to get insured, thereby keeping premiums in check.


Rep. Clay Higgins, R-La., who passionately spoke out against the Affordable Care Act during a congressional hearing this week, said Thursday he opposes Obamacare because it forces Americans like him to choose between healthcare and life necessities.

A coalition of Democratic state attorneys general led by California's Xavier Becerra stepped up to defend the law. The outcome will apply to all states, but is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court. One attorney general who spearheaded it, Josh Hawley of Missouri, runs ads in his successful Senate bid touting his commitment to pre-existing conditions protections, the very ones was attempting to destroy.

The Affordable Care Act has been ruled unconstitutional in a court in New Orleans. Whatever the court decides, the case could go to the US Supreme Court. More than 20 million more Americans are now covered by its provisions. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y. "Donald Trump and the Republicans want to take away your health care".

Judge Kurt Engelhardt, a Trump appointee, suggested it was in the House's power to pass a new health care reform law if the panel finds the current one unconstitutional.

In the recently completed Supreme Court session, however, Roberts inched to the left in key cases and appeared to be trying to bridge the court's divide in these politically volatile times.


In its statement, CHA highlights that patients without health insurance are four times more likely to be hospitalized for preventable maladies, making them more hard and more expensive to treat.

The losing side in the ACA case will likely appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Republicans tried to come up with a replacement plan for 10 years, and they couldn't do it", he says. A Texas judge in December ruled it was invalid, setting off an appeal by states who support the law.

"Severability is usually under discussion when a court will take a look at a law, strike down part of it and say should the rest of this bill stand or not?" said Earl Pomeroy, senior counsel with the law firm Alston & Bird's Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation group.

Other Republican congressmen followed suit, bringing up the rising costs of health care since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, as well as other problems with the law.


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