Published On: Tue, Dec 18th, 2018

Obamacare unconstitutional but the battle in Congress is just beginning

federal judge’s ruling on Friday declaring the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional could leave Washington in chaos as the uncertain future of Obamacare will again be questioned.

Judge Reed O’Connor, from the federal district court in Fort Worth, Texas, held that the 2010 health care law is unconstitutional due to elimination of the tax; therefore, making the mandates a force on Americans which contradicts their individual freedoms by making ownership a requirement.

photo Will O’Neill via Flickr

The decision throws out a range of healthcare provisions, including rules that insurers must cover people with pre-existing conditions, the extension of the Medicaid program to the poor, and coverage for maternity care, mental health, and substance abuse disorders.

“Republicans now have to answer a set of questions that they wouldn’t have otherwise had to answer,” said one GOP strategist on the political challenges of the ruling. “The ruling may have single-handedly galvanized Democrats on an issue where they play a lot of offense and put Republicans on defense for who knows how long.”

“Even if you accept at face value this absurd decision that came out of Texas, what this does is put a bull’s eye on pre-existing conditions and other patient protections,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. “Now, there is going to be all kinds of debate about this, but that’s what people around their kitchen table are going to be saying as they begin to learn about it.”

Democratic state officials have already vowed to appeal the case.

In Congress, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is pressuring the Senate to bring a measure to the floor that would allow lawmakers to intervene. He also signaled that Democrats are prepared to continue using Texas against Republicans politically.

photo Andrew Aliferis via Flickr

“It puts a lot of our Republicans in a box because they sort of were, you know, two-faced,” Schumer said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “On the one hand, they said they want to preserve pre-existing conditions and preserve healthcare. On the other hand, Donald Trump and a large number of Republicans brought this court suit, so there are going to be a good number of Republicans that are really going to have to make a decision whether to join us in this intervention or face very severe consequences.”

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., who is set to be the chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, told reporters in a phone call Monday that he plans to hold hearings to examine why the Trump administration did not intervene on the case.

“On things we agree on, like access to your parents’ healthcare until you’re 26 and protecting pre-existing conditions, we’re going to do a better job explaining those two really positive things about the current situation that people like and Republicans say they’re for as well,” said Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo. “I think we got behind early on, but winning candidates figured out how to work their way through that, and I expect we’ll see a lot more discussion of that early this time.”

The White House has praised the ruling and invited Congress to pass a new healthcare law.

“As always, the Trump Administration stands ready to work with Congress on policy solutions that will deliver more insurance choices, better healthcare, and lower costs while continuing to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement.

“The ruling should put the pressure on Congress to finally address the millions of Americans who have been hurt under Obamacare,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

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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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