What's At Stake In The Latest Affordable Care Act Court Battle

What's At Stake In The Latest Affordable Care Act Court Battle

What's At Stake In The Latest Affordable Care Act Court Battle

But the Republican tax bill passed in December eliminated the individual mandate, prompting 20 Republican governors and attorneys general to bring a suit in February that argues that the tax provision now invalidates the entire health-care law, per The New York Times.

That's mostly due to conservative Judge Reed O'Connor of the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Texas, who presided over Wednesday's oral arguments.

In this case, "Congress itself has essentially eliminated the provision in question and left the rest of a statute standing", they wrote, so courts do not need to guess whether lawmakers intended for the rest of the law to remain.

Nelson said Congress has the ability to remove Obamacare protections for people with pre-existing conditions, but it decided not to.

Texas and the other GOP-led states argue that ObamaCare's individual mandate can now no longer be upheld as a tax since Congress eliminated the penalty for violating it as part of the 2017 tax law.

A stagnation of incomes across the board, coupled with an expansion of Medicaid and other health-insurance payments, has helped the middle class benefit from so-called wealth redistribution just as much as the poorest Americans.

The Trump administration earlier this year elected not to defend the law, an unusual departure from the Justice Department's traditional responsibility to safeguard federal law.

The penalty was also critical to the health care law's survival when it first came before the Supreme Court in 2012 in a lawsuit that alleged the law's insurance requirement was unconstitutional. United States. But in June, the Trump administration sided with the plaintiffs on the individual mandate, arguing in a brief that it and the pre-existing conditions protections were unconstitutional.

Defenders of the law, however, say the court needs only to look at legislators' intent when they voted past year to eliminate the penalty. The plaintiffs are asking the court for an immediate injunction that would effectively throw out the entire ACA.

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The ACA's pre-existing condition protections have emerged as a hot topic in some key Congressional races in part because of a pending legal challenge filed by 20 state attorney generals.

That would mean the end of popular insurance protections, including bans on insurance companies turning away sick customers or charging them higher premiums, practices that were commonplace before the health care law was enacted. The GOP plaintiffs are seeking a "preliminary injunction" on the law.

Is anything at stake for people who don't get insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplaces? The 180 million Americans who have employer-sponsored insurance or are self-insured would lose all of the ACA's consumer protections, which have kept young adults up to age 26 on their parents' plans and getting free preventative care. Once again, people could be subjected to annual and lifetime limits in their health plans.

Two-thirds of those polled say they are either "very worried" (38 percent) or "somewhat worried" (29 percent) about being able to afford an unexpected medical bill.

If the judge finds the law unconstitutional, is there any other way to preserve protections for people with pre-existing conditions?

A group of 10 Republican senators pre-emptively introduced legislation last month, but it would only partially restore the provisions in question. But the catch is that insurers could still refuse to cover certain medical conditions.

When voters are asked what health care issue they most want to hear the candidates discuss, a quarter (27%) mention health care costs - three times the share that mention any other health care issue, such as increasing access (9%), universal coverage (8%), Medicare or senior concerns (7%), or prescription drug costs (7%). They could also again charge more based on gender or line of work, or raise rates on older Americans.

The losing side would nearly certainly appeal, and that process could take years.

Some legal experts say the challenge is unlikely to survive on appeal, yet it seeped into Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Mr. Trump's pick for the Supreme Court. Eventually, the case could land before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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