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Appeals Court: Obamacare Individual Mandate is Unconstitutional

In the latest legal saga involving President Obama’s signature healthcare law, a federal appeals court in New Orleans ruled Wednesday that the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. In the ruling, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals did not extend that decision to the entire law, leaving it to a lower court to decide if Obamacare can be saved in any form.

From Fox News:

The three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans agreed with Texas-based U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s finding that the insurance requirement was rendered unconstitutional when, in 2017, Congress eliminated a tax penalty on people without insurance.

“The individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power,” the ruling said. “On the severability question, we remand to the district court to provide additional analysis of the provisions of the ACA as they currently exist.”

The appeals court concluded because the individual mandate was unconstitutional, the law’s funding mechanism could not be enforced in the current version of the Affordable Care Act.

Other parts of the law may survive, but the appeals court deferred to the lower court to decide the severability question —whether the entire law must be struck down or what parts of the law could still exist. It comes as the administration is working with Congress for a replacement health care reform law.

In her majority ruling, Judge Jennifer Elrod said, “It may still be that none of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate, even after this inquiry is concluded. It may be that all of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate. It may also be that some of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate, and some is not.”

Reactions to the ruling were predictably mixed.

“Obamacare has failed to live up to its promises,” tweeted Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY). “This ruling highlights the need to modernize and personalize health care for every American. Republicans are focused on protecting people with pre-existing conditions and lowering the cost of care.”

Meanwhile, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has devoted his recent career to suing President Trump, was irate.

“For now, the President got the gift he wanted — uncertainty in the healthcare system and a pathway to repeal — so that the healthcare that seniors, workers and families secured under the Affordable Care Act can be yanked from under them,” he sniped in a statement.

If the courts cannot resolve the issue of the ACA’s continued viability, the case could ultimately go back before the Supreme Court.

What do you think?

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Written by Andrew


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  1. So, did Obama accomplish anything positive during his 8 years in office, or was he little more than political dead wood?

    • YES! Bath House Barry…..accomplishment/Proved that he is absolutely the worst President in American History…..{ letting Jimmy “peanut” Carter off the hook!} The most corrupt, & “A-Moral”: Slick perverted Willie! Hag of the Century, & her “witch partner in crime”: Hillary, & Nasty Pelosi Worst Committee heads: Toad Nadler, & that “worthless bag of Schiff”….{ & on, it goes}….:O}}}

  2. Without the corruption in D.C. and Obama’s inept AG this would never had passed. Remember Nancy Pelosi’s most famous quote of career ” We have to pass it to see what’s in it.” That’s the kind of leadership we have come to expect from Pelosi – well that and looking at San Francisco with the human feces covered sidewalks and homeless tents – that is Nancy’s legacy.
    I saw a video posted today where a young lady in a Christmas hat was saying “Trump should just go ahead and build the wall – then fine everyone who does not like it $800 like Obama did with Obamacare.”

  3. It appears everyone who was forced into buying ObamaCare against their wishes should get a full refund plus interest !

  4. The court may have given the Democrats their greatest gift in the 2020 election. This could not only effect all of the Senate and House races but also who will be the next president. The total number insured under ACA is over 90 million. They will blame the Republicans for losing their health care coverage. Trump in the first two years had total control of the House and the Senate and he failed to pass his Healthcare disaster.

    Do not be surprised to see ads that say “Republicans can’t be trusted to fix health care in America. VOTE LIKE YOUR LIFE DEPENDS UPON IT.”

    If that is not enough what about Trump’s pending charges in the Michael Cohen case? (

    • Allen – There are only 20 million who are on Obamacare. I believe we will get health insurance a different way before they just shut Obamacare totally down.

      P.S. The democrats are doing NOTHING on health care! They ran on this and then LIED! Not only that, but Obama lied to us about this new health insurance. Why should we believe anything dems say?

      • You failed to include the changes with previous health insurance coverage which cut administrative costs to a maximum of 21%. Also add the number with preconditions that will lose that coverage. It’s the total number of people affected by the changes made by ACA across the country. What about students in school that are now covered under their parents insurance. Its is not just people who are enrolled in Obamacare only it’s a great deal more. In 2017 their were 294.6 million people affected by Obamacare

        If you want to lower premium rates just cut administrative costs to 16% across the board. An HMO is around 12% to 14%. Prepaid group practice runs about 4% to 8%. The others are as much as than can get away with.

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