Affordable Care Act
U.S. appeals court to take up constitutionality of Obamacare
(Reuters) – The future of Obamacare could be at stake on Tuesday when a coalition of Democratic-led states and House of Representatives urge a federal appeals court to overturn a Texas judge’s ruling that the U.S. healthcare reform law is unconstitutional.
Republicans have repeatedly tried to repeal Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act (ACA), since its 2010 passage, and while the Justice Department would normally defend a federal law, the Trump administration has declined to defend its constitutionality against a challenge by 18 Republican-led states.
A coalition of Democratic state attorneys general led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra stepped into the void to defend the law. The House intervened after Democrats won control in November’s elections after many focused their campaigns on defending Obamacare.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, including two judges appointed by Republican presidents and one by a Democrat, will take up a ruling by a federal judge in Texas last year that the entire ACA was unconstitutional.
An appellate ruling declaring Obamacare unconstitutional could prompt an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, opening the door for the top court to take up the issue in the midst of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
Obamacare, the signature domestic achievement of Trump’s Democratic predecessor, Barack Obama, has been a political flashpoint since its passage.
Republican opponents call the law an unwarranted intervention by government in health insurance markets, while supporters say that striking it down would put at risk the healthcare of 20 million people who have gained insurance since its enactment.
Read the full story at reuters.com