Published: Fri, July 12, 2019
Medical | By Mark Scott

USA appeals court to take up constitutionality of Obamacare

USA appeals court to take up constitutionality of Obamacare

A three-judge panel of the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana, including two judges appointed by Republican presidents and one by a Democrat, will take up a ruling by a federal judge in Texas a year ago that said the entire ACA was unconstitutional.

For their part, some Republican Senators seem to be hoping the law survives, as they feel that throwing the ACA out entirely could cause pandemonium within the health care system. And the Trump Administration has sided with the Republican-led states that the ACA should be found unconstitutional. The act also established important protections for people with pre-existing conditions and imposed lifetime caps on the amount patients would have to pay. A Texas judge in December ruled it was invalid, setting off an appeal by states who support the law.

Engelhardt questioned why, after a USA district judge declared the whole ACA unconstitutional, Congress did not pass legislation clarifying what provisions should stay on the books. "Courts can get pushed to the point where they say this is too much to swallow".

That panel is not expected to rule for several months.

Former US president Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, which has insured tens of millions of Americans, went before a federal appeals court Tuesday in a high-stakes case whose outcome could play a major role in the 2020 presidential campaign.

"Our argument is simple", Becerra said in a written statement released Friday.

Not only that, but the brief outlines all of the programs attached to ACA that will shut down if the 5th Circuit finds the law unconstitutional. Because the case is before one of the most conservative appellate courts in the country, it is nearly guaranteed to wind up in the Supreme Court. "If they have their way, millions of Americans could be forced to delay, skip or forego potentially life-saving health care". Children can stay on their parents' insurance up to age 26.

The panel is considering an appeal from Democrats, who say a judge in Texas erred by ruling the mandate is unconstitutional and can not be severed from the rest of the law - including its protections for people with preexisting conditions, subsidies for private insurance and expansion of Medicaid.

Republicans are already squirming uncomfortably about the prospect of having the health care issue thrown back in their laps.

A Utah man told members of Congress on Wednesday that he and his two sons wouldn't be alive without affordable health care coverage. Republicans had tried, but failed to win full repeal of "Obamacare", as Trump had wanted. That's because Chief Justice John Roberts justified upholding the law by saying Congress can tax whatever it wants.

Among the arguments by the law's supporters: Those who filed suit have no case because they aren't harmed by a tax that doesn't exist; the reduction of the tax penalty to zero could be read as a suspension of the tax, but the tax's legal structure still exists; and if the individual mandate is now unconstitutional, that doesn't affect the rest of the law. He indicated the panel may hesitate to eradicate the entire law.

A decision on the lawsuit by judges of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans could be made sometime later this year. President Jimmy Carter appointed her to the bench. Jennifer Walker Elrod was appointed by President George W. Bush in 2007, and Kurt Engelhardt was appointed by Trump in 2018.

"Now imagine - this descended upon their family on April of a year ago".

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), holding a picture of head-injury victim Emilie Saltzman, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lead fellow congressional Democrats for remarks on health care coverage of pre-existing conditions, on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. July 9, 2019.

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