Federal Judge Rules Affordable Care Act Is Unconstitutional Without Insurance-Coverage Penalty

Not good…

Source: Federal Judge Rules Affordable Care Act Is Unconstitutional Without Insurance-Coverage Penalty - WSJ


Stephanie Armour and

Brent Kendall

Updated Dec. 15, 2018 12:09 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON—A federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional now that Congress has eliminated a penalty for those who forgo health insurance, casting doubt on the embattled health law and coverage for millions of Americans.

U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, an appointee of President George W. Bush, ruled that the entire Obama-era health law is invalid, siding with the claims of 20 Republican statesthat brought a lawsuit seeking to strike down the ACA.

Republicans eliminated the ACA’s penalty for not having coverage last year, although the measure doesn’t go into effect until 2019. Mandatory health coverage was a linchpin of the original law, intending to draw healthier people into the insurance pool to help offset the costs of sicker enrollees. The Supreme Court has upheld the ACA as constitutional based on Congress’s taxing power.

The Trump administration, which has long sought to repeal the ACA, applauded Friday’s ruling.

“Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!” President Trump wrote on Twitter. In a statement, the White House elaborated, saying, “Once again, the President calls on Congress to replace Obamacare and act to protect people with preexisting conditions and provide Americans with quality affordable healthcare.”

Friday’s decision rattled top Democratic politicians, medical groups and health-industry leaders. Some advocacy groups called on Congress to immediately pass legislation protecting coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, and the American Medical Association vowed to work with other organizations in seeking an appeal.

“This is a five alarm fire—Republicans just blew up our health care system,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) said in a statement. “The anti-health care zealots in the Republican Party are intentionally ripping health care away from the working poor, increasing costs on seniors, and making insurance harder to afford for people with preexisting conditions.”

The ruling, while invalidating the law, didn’t immediately block enforcement of the ACA, a situation that could trigger widespread uncertainty in the near term. Some states could stop enforcing or administering the law, including Medicaid expansion, starting Jan. 1, when the elimination of the penalty takes effect.

Democratic states that had intervened in the lawsuit said they would quickly seek an appeal to the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Ultimately, the case could reach the Supreme Court. The decision Friday thrust the future of the 2010 law on unstable terrain just before the busiest final days for sign-ups during the ACA’s open-enrollment period.

“It will destabilize health-insurance coverage by rolling back federal policy to 2009,” said Barbara McAneny, president of the American Medical Association.

Organizations that oppose the ACA said they supported the decision. The law, they said, has amounted to heavy government intrusion into health care and limited choice for consumers.

“Although Republicans in Congress have failed to repeal Obamacare in its entirety, this ruling has proven that their action to repeal the individual mandate in last year’s tax reform legislation was a consequential move,” according to a statement Friday from FreedomWorks, which advocates for smaller government.

it will be overturned on appeal. It the same judge who has overturned numerous pieces of legislation on without regard to the law.


The counter argument was a $0 penalty is still a tax. That’s a pretty weak counter.


It’s a good setup to just open Medicare to every American. Obamacare is a monster hybrid meant to placate the right. It came from a think tank on the right. Guess what? The right hates it anyway.

Time to say screw it and go for the real solution. Let the GOP tell their constituents why they don’t get health coverage.


You do realize that Medicare is already running out of money? Just how exactly would you propose to fund Medicare for everybody? Every nation on earth with a nationalized health care system does it with a VAT. Do you think the Dems can sell that to THEIR constituency?


Medicare is not running out of money. Government can always raise taxes to pay. A good place to start is to reverse the trump tax cut, which has proven to be useless and expensive.

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We would have to double and maybe triple tax revenue as a percent of GDP to fund it. We’ve literally never collected that much in taxes. Even a 90% tax rate on the 1% wouldn’t fund it. It would take a massive middle class tax increase to fund it. That’s how it’s funded in other countries. Good luck selling that.

That’s not counting the terrible wait times and rationing of care in those countries. It amazes me people advocate for something that’s result in a vast majority of people have worse care than they have now.

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Wait times only come if government operates the hospitals like in Britain. Many other countries, including Medicare here in US, hospitals are privately owned and operated. Government only picks up the tab.

Anything is better than the current employer based system. Users are not paying for care. Insurance is paying. Users aren’t even paying for insurance premium. Their employers are. So customers are thrice removed from costs. That’s a mockery of so-called “market based” system.

Look at how other countries are doing it. US is only advanced economy with the highest cost of care with the worst coverage.


Do you think the government would reimburse providers at private insurance rates or Medicaid/Medicare rates? If they do Medicare/Medicaid rates, then it’ll lead to providers shutting down and rationing care. If they do private rates, then you’re talking even higher taxes.

The other about spending has been discussed. I’m honestly amazed you still bring it up as a point. I’d repost all the info about rates of chronic illness, prescription drug consumption rates, obesity rates, and massive money spent on preventable illness but clearly it’s a waste.

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Your position that Americans can’t have affordable care because they are too fat is pretty out there.

Even if it’s true I would say we need good health care even more than other countries.

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Not only this, many spoiled the health care system including Trump’s/Rep changes. Judgement pours fuel over fire.

Yeah, statistics and math are pretty far out there. You don’t care about how much the US spends on healthcare. You just want to shift who pays for it, since you obviously think it’d benefit you. You’d really rather pay 2-3x more in income taxes than pay for healthcare?

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Medicare advantage plans are the best way to go. For the same price as Medicare they cover prescriptions and many deductibles for those on medicare for the same price. You would eliminate most medicare fraud and also medicaid because everyone would be on medicare.


No, sadly it’s spot on. Lifestyle diseases suck a lot of money out of the healthcare system.

I think it’s reasonable to say that $0 isn’t a penalty. So they should add a penalty.

You would think working in a health care facility you would see people working there living healthy lifestyles, but that is not the case. I have seen more obese people working at Kaiser than anywhere else. I guess it is a mystery.


We again see Marcus as a poor spokesperson for a failed administration.

Marcus, you can’t answer where is the Trumpcare for all. Of course you can’t! Your whole life or participation on this topic has been on berating Americans for what they are, fat and poor. Why don’t you start with your fat ass president for a change! :blush::laughing::laughing:

Can I tell you a secret? There are some immigrants from various countries that get refused on their life insurance policies. They eat very bad, too much of this, and too much of that. High cholesterol and high or lower blood pressure abound. Enough said.

So much hypocrisy, don’t ya think

Let’s dissect Marcus poor description of why health insurance is costly in this country but so efficient in the rest of the world.

“”"“You don’t care about how much the US spends on healthcare”""

Let’s reply with this: You don’t care about how much $ the insurance companies pocket every year, specially their CEOs while poor rural America dies of abandonment. Just for doing the paperwork, the middle man gets richer, Jesus and Merry Christmas!

Oh, I wonder, how much of a coverage an American will get (years wise) with $1 million?

Well, that’s how much a lying president is spending every weekend playing golf. Let’s not talk about the lavish style of his family on trips to exotic countries in the Caribbean. Or using a jet when a government rep can use a train or a bus. Kitchen tables for $35K?

The list goes on and on.

Where’s Trumpcare Marcus?

Republicans are well known to just bitch and complain, never acting. They had 8 years? And when they are giving the keys of the city, the dumb cry babies didn’t have a plan? And the plan they hatched in a hurry wasn’t available for discussion to their own legislators?

""Excuse me senator, are you going to vote on replacing Obamacare? ….I don’t know yet, in about an hour I will be voting but I don’t know what I am going to be voting for, they never gave me a copy of such law, like in Russia and Communist China where OUR VOTE IS SECRET! :wink::blush::sweat_smile::smile::laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:

But they were saying they never had a chance to look at Obamacare in the first place! Really?:scream::scream::scream::scream::scream:

If you can’t answer where is Trumpcare, Marcus, you are just bullshitting your way out of the facts there wasn’t any plan, as there wasn’t a Mexico paying for that wall and the swamp, releasing taxes, not playing golf, etc. :laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:

You bring up the same stuff that’s been thoroughly debunked countless times. You’re a broken record that’s incapable of processing new information. There’s no point in addressing you on this topic.


If you cared to explain “what has been debunked”?:laughing::laughing::laughing::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

You mean "Mexico will pay for the wall! chanted by so many idiots like you who believed in that crap? I though you were smarter than that?


Where’s TRUMPCARE Marcus?

Stop spinning, show us TRUMPCARE!


Let’s debunk this, shall we?
I will bring you the best. A competitive plan………lie!

How can anybody believe a munbling jumbling idiot liar! Jesus!
Democrats should stop resisting. No idiot! You had the majority in both houses at that time!

And now………How can people we so stupid?


You aren’t going to read or understand it anyway. I’ve posted before the outline of Trump’s healthcare proposal. There wasn’t enough votes in the senate to pass it. Last time you just pivoted to some unrelated BS.