Why court battle represents existential threat to Obamacare

Henrietta Brewer
July 10, 2019

Centene had nearly 2 million ACA members on its rolls previous year, giving it about 20% of the entire Obamacare health-care exchange population.

Texas leaders argue against Obamacare, saying the entire law is now unconstitutional since the "individual mandate" - which is the so-called "tax" that the Supreme Court had once upheld - is now gone.

Justice Department attorney August Flentje, facing questions about the administration's approach, said the government would enforce it until a final decision comes. As the case proceeds, Obamacare has remained in place, and likely will until the litigation is finally resolved.

Without that "individual mandate" to buy insurance, O'Connor said, the entire law falls. A large group of ACA arrangements would be wiped out, including: assurances for individuals with prior conditions, endowments to make singular medical coverage progressively moderate, extended qualification for Medicaid, inclusion of youthful grown-ups up to age 26 under their folks' protection approaches, inclusion of preventive consideration with no patient cost-sharing, shutting of the donut gap under Medicare's medication advantage, and a progression of expense increments to support the new advantages.

Elrod asked about the possibility of striking down the law only in states where officials joined the lawsuit. In a filing with the court late last week, Justice Department attorneys argued that perhaps the health law should be invalidated only in the GOP states that are suing, rather than all states.

A three-judge panel of the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana, including two judges appointed by Republican presidents and one by a Democrat, will take up a ruling by a federal judge in Texas a year ago that said the entire ACA was unconstitutional. By 2026, the increase is expected to climb to 50 percent following the elimination of the Medicaid expansion.


"What I have, I don't want to lose because I can't pay a hospital bill because my child has once again sprained a joint or hurt themselves", Burnfin said.

"Today's arguments seem to have gone very, very well", he said. He has said Congress won't vote on it until after next year's presidential election.

"No plan, no bill passed", Pogue said. But legal experts across the ideological spectrum agree that Texas has a high bar to clear before Obamacare would be struck down. Elrod peppered both sides with questions.

Weiser believes the individual mandate can still be upheld because a law can exist even though there are zero penalties.

Employers could return to placing annual and lifetime limits on employees' health care or not providing it at all, and preventative care no longer would be assured by federal subsidies.

The lawsuit has also been backed by President Donald Trump. "My hope is that state policy makers continue to move forward in looking past [Obamacare] and toward a state-based model that can actually provide great care for people when they get sick".


The Supreme Court's conservative majority found Congress could not constitutionally order people to buy insurance. The parties could also ask the full 5th Circuit to reconsider the case "en banc".

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. "Every American should have the right to access the health care they need to lead a healthy, productive life".

What's next: No plan for replacing the ACA has been publicly released.

Douglas Letter, arguing for the now-Democratic controlled House of Representatives, said that Texas and other states are exaggerating the impact of the law Trump signed in 2017 eliminating the mandate.

The Texas Tribune provided this story.


Other reports by iNewsToday

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER