On Friday night, President Donald Trump celebrated a Texas judge's ruling putting Obamacare at risk by declaring it "great news". But with appeals certain, even the Trump White House said the law will remain in place for now. The rest of the law can not be separated from that provision and is therefore invalid, he wrote.
California and other states ruled against by the judge will challenge the decision by appealing in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. We can not go back to the days when insurance companies regularly denied coverage for people who are sick.
Several Democrat-led states have already promised to appeal O'Connor's ruling.
He also noted that all nine Supreme Court justices who weighed in on the law said the individual mandate and the pre-existing conditions coverage protections, guaranteed issue and community ratings provisions could not be severed.
However, Congress is unlikely to act while the case remains in the courts. Some 58% of Americans said they trust Democrats more to continue the law's provisions, compared to 26% who chose Republicans, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation election tracking poll released in mid-October.
But Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who is expected to become House speaker in January, vowed to fight what she called an "absurd ruling".
In NFIB (2012 Supreme Court Obamacare decision), the Supreme Court held the Individual Mandate was unconstitutional under the Interstate Commerce Clause but could fairly be read as an exercise of Congress's Tax Power because it triggered a tax.
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Saturday is the sign-up deadline for 2019 private plans through HealthCare.gov. And yet, Republicans have made it clear that their priority is attacking access to critically-needed health care, protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and insurance for young people.
"There is nothing more American than ensuring that every citizen has access to the lifesaving and necessary health care they need".
But despite his Republicans having majorities in both the House of Representatives and the Senate, the ACA is still operating.
In February, Attorney General Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel led a 20-state coalition lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Obamacare, explaining that Congress rendered all of Obamacare unconstitutional by doing away with the tax penalty in Obamacare's individual mandate when it enacted President Trump's tax overhaul.
O'Connor is a conservative Republican appointee who has previously blocked other Obama-era policies. California and other states had intervened to defend the 2010 health care law after the Trump administration declined to defend its provisions that guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, arguing that those provisions can not be separated from the mandate. That includes a prohibition on insurers writing policies that exclude a particular condition - for example, a recurrence of breast cancer.
Under the law's community rating provision, insurers are not allowed to set premiums based on a person's health history.
"We do have contingency plans", she said then.