Republicans Want Courts to Kill the Affordable Care Act

Republicans Want Courts to Kill the Affordable Care Act September 5, 2018

Today in a Texas courtroom, a trial begins that could do away with Obamacare completely, or at least void the preexisting mandates requirement, which would effectively end it anyway. The case was filed by a group of Republican attorneys general, which wants to kill it completely. Trump’s DOJ, on the other hand, just wants to end the mandatory coverage for those with preexisting conditions.

The key argument is this: The Supreme Court upheld the ACA in 2012 in the case of National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius because the penalty for refusing to get coverage was imposed as a tax and Congress has the power to tax. But last year Congress rescinded that penalty, so now the ruling in that case is voided, along with the justification for it and therefore the entire law has to be voided because that provision cannot be severed from the law without rendering it all unconstitutional.

The Trump DOJ is not defending the law itself, so a group of Democratic attorneys general are defending it, but the DOJ is taking something of a middle position. Their position is that voiding the mandate does not render the entire law unconstitutional but it does render the requirement that insurance companies cover those with preexisting conditions without a high-risk pool or raising the rates is unconstitutional. That’s an important legal distinction, but in the real world it would effectively end the ACA anyway, especially for people like me who have such preexisting conditions.

If either of those things happen, the entire health care market would be thrown into massive chaos. Millions and millions of people would lose their health insurance, including me, and, quite frankly, a lot of us would end up dead. So yeah, this is kind of personal for me. It is simply unconscionable and the GOP would have my blood, and the blood of many others, on its hands if it succeeds in getting the law thrown out. The case is Texas v United States. More information here.


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