Federal judge rules Obamacare as 'unconstitutional', hands political victory to Trump

21 December, 2018, 06:45 | Author: Lillian Steele
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Outraged Democrats vowed to appeal a federal judge's ruling that could undo the US health care law known as Obamacare, saying on Saturday that they will use their new power in Congress to hold Republicans responsible and "expose their lies". Medicaid expansion will proceed in Virginia, one of the latest states to accept that option. In fact, Republicans just spent a majority of the 2018 midterm election cycle affirming their support for protections for pre-existing conditions.

In his ruling, O'Connor reasoned that the body of the law could not be surgically separated from its now-meaningless requirement for people to have health insurance. If you haven't registered yet, you can do by visiting the Healthcare.gov website. "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 overhaul.

Was the Friday ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed C. O'Connor of Fort Worth already a dead letter, an empty constitutional declaration that stood for nothing?

Republicans have opposed the 2010 law, the signature domestic policy achievement of President Donald Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, since its inception and have repeatedly tried and failed to repeal it.

After repeatedly trying and failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Congress, Trump and his Republican allies have turned to right-wing activist judges to try to overturn this vital law, alleged Democratic Senator Dick Durbin.

A Supreme Court ruling in their favor would be Republicans' only shot at overturning the law in the foreseeable future, with Democrats taking control of the House in January.

"Mitch and Nancy, get it done!"

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The GOP's failed effort a year ago to repeal the law showed there's no consensus within the party itself.

Two top House Republicans issued diverging statements.

"As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an unconstitutional disaster!"

"This'll be another area where health care will be used as a political issue, way beyond one district judge making a ruling that has no immediate impact", Blunt said.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer condemned the "awful" ruling and vowed congressional action as soon as possible for an "intervention" in the case. He urged maintaining provisions such as protections for pre-existing medical conditions, no lifetime dollar limits on insurance coverage, and allowing young adults to stay on parental coverage until age 26. But, according to Seattle University law professor John Kirkwork, there's no reason to panic. Why? "If a majority of the House and a majority of the Senate say that this case should be overturned, it'll have a tremendous effect on the appeal", Schumer said.

She told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" Sunday that she believes the judge's ruling overturning the entire law goes too far and that the court should instead remove the individual mandate to buy health insurance while keeping the rest of the law intact. He wrote that the rest of the law can not be separated from that provision and therefore was invalid.

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