No immediate health coverage changes from Obamacare ruling -gov't

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They claimed that the Supreme Court upheld the ACA in 2012 because it included an individual mandate - or a tax penalty for Americans who did not buy health insurance. "Great news for America!"

Henneke said that in the NFIB v. Sebelius case, the Supreme Court construed the mandate as an exercise of congressional taxing power because it generated revenue, rejecting the government's argument that the mandate could be justified under the Constitution's Commerce Clause.

In the 2018 election, Democrats across the country highlighted the GOP's attempts to do away with Obamacare's consumer protections, and it paid dividends as the party won 40 House seats.

"It would really plunge the nation's health care system into chaos", Rovner says. The Justice Department, which typically defends federal laws, asked the court to strike the law's protections for people with pre-existing conditions along with its mandate that people buy coverage, but leave the rest of the law intact. Voters saw health care as an important issue in November's midterm elections.

"I'm not sure Republicans even know what they're fighting for right now when it comes to health care", said David Jolly, a former Republican congressman from Florida who now identifies as an independent. "Hard to square GOP campaign promises with the court victory by GOP attorneys general".

On Friday, O'Connor ruled that after Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill passed by Congress previous year, the individual mandate requiring that most Americans obtain health insurance or pay a tax could no longer be considered constitutional.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, a Louisiana Republican, said in a statement that "Democrats may have won the House by running a fear-mongering campaign, unfortunately their reckless legislating has not proven to be as effective for the American people who have to live under this failed system". "Today's misguided ruling will not deter us: our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and wellbeing of all Americans", said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading a coalition of states defending the ACA.

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"We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court", CMS Administrator Seema Verma wrote on Twitter on Saturday. An appeal would go to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

They argue that the tax law changes do not mean that the whole Affordable Care Act becomes unconstitutional. That could make it a defining issue in Trump's re-election bid. The ruling is written so that it won't take effect immediately, giving higher courts time to consider the case. But, "O'Connor is so far off the reservation here that virtually any (appeals) panel will reverse him", Jost said. The ruling on Friday night by US District Judge Reed O'Connor of Texas overturns all of the 2010 healthcare law nationwide.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer tweeted that Republicans had pretended to care about those protected by Obamacare "while quietly trying to remove that support in the courts". He said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, "A lot of this depends on congressional intent". "And if a majority of the House and a majority of the Senate say that this case should be overturned, it will have a tremendous effect on the appeal".

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement the law would remain in place pending its expected appeal to the Supreme Court. Amy Klobuchar said, adding that the decision was "absurd".

"To give a contrary example to those who are critical of this opinion, alleging that it will cause people to lose their insurance, I would point to the fact that you already have millions of people who have lost their insurance because of their inability to afford" the government-mandated plans, Henneke said. Roy Blunt, a Missouri Republican, said "the thing to remember" about the ruling "is that it has no immediate impact".

"#Republicans' legal crusade against the #AffordableCareAct is a political stunt, but a unsafe one that puts health coverage and vital health protections for millions of Americans at risk", Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted Saturday.

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