UNITED STATES—U.S. District Judge, Reed O’Connor, from Ft. Worth, Texas, ruled on Friday, December 14, that the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare is unconstitutional.
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), shortened to ACA is a federal statute enacted by the 111th United States Congress and signed into law by former President Barack Obama in March 2010. Combined with The Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act, Obamacare changed insurance in the United States and is currently the existing structure of both Medicare and Medicaid.
Under Obamacare, all applicants are to be accepted by insurers and cannot be turned away due to pre-exiting conditions, while being charged the same rates. Children are permitted to stay on their parents insurance plans until the age of 26.
The Affordable Care Act requires insurance companies to spend 80 percent of premiums on improvements or medical care. Companies who fail to do so must refund the premiums to the consumer to the point that standard is reached.
Judge O’Connor wrote in part of a 55-page document on his ruling that read:
“The Individual Mandate can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress’s Tax Power and is still impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause meaning that the individual is unconstitutional without it Congress and The Supreme Court have stated the architectural design fails.”
Texas is one of 20 states that agreed with Judge O’Connor that the increase in the amount of people utilizing state-backed insurance hurt them. Congress cut the tax penalty from the program in 2017. The states claimed that it undercut the Supreme Court’s reasoning for finding the former President Barack Obama’s legislation constitutional in 2012. The ruling came one day before the deadline to sign up for coverage for 2019.
The Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services indicates the decision will not have any impact on healthcare for 2019.
Former President, Barack Obama wrote on social media, “As this decision makes it through the courts which will take months if not years the law remains in place and will likely stay that way.”
President Trump urged bipartisan support stating: “The Republicans and the Democrats get together, we are going to end up with incredible healthcare which should have happened from day one. It’s going to happen.”