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Published On: Wed, Mar 27th, 2019

DOJ sides with court finding Obamacare mandate unconstitutional

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday announced that it is siding with a district court ruling that found the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional.

The DOJ previously argued in court that the law’s pre-existing condition protections should be struck down. Now, the administration argues the entire law should be invalidated.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled in December that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of law is therefore invalid.

The DOJ said Monday that it agrees the decision should stand as the case works its way through the appeals process in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

“The Department of Justice has determined that the district court’s judgment should be affirmed,” the department said in a short letter to the appeals court.

President Trump reacted to the news Tuesday morning.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., condemned the ruling, noting millions of Americans could lose health insurance if “Obamacare” is struck down.

“This will put millions of Americans and tens of thousands of West Virginians at risk of losing their health insurance, including the thousands of West Virginians who gained health insurance through the Medicaid expansion, and thousands more who gained insurance through the state health exchange,” Manchin said. “This is just plain wrong, and worse than we could have ever imagined.”

Manchin added, “What’s worse is that we have had two bipartisan healthcare fixes on Mitch McConnell’s desk that he refused to bring up to a vote because fixing the Affordable Care Act doesn’t benefit him politically.”

Many legal experts in both parties think the lawsuit, which was brought by 20 GOP-led states, will not ultimately succeed. The district judge who ruled against the law in December is known as a staunch conservative.

The case centers on the argument that since Congress repealed the tax penalty in the law’s mandate for everyone to have insurance in 2017, the mandate can no longer be ruled constitutional under Congress’s power to tax.

photo Andrew Aliferis via Flickr

About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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