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Federal judge in Texas strikes down Affordable Care Act

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CNN)A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law must also fall."The Court ... declares the Individual Mandate ... unconstitutional," District Judge Reed O'Connor wrote in his decision. "Further, the Court declares the remaining provisions of the ACA ... are inseverable and therefore invalid."
The case against the ACA, also known as Obamacare, brought by 20 Republican state attorneys general and governors, as well as two individuals. It revolves around Congress effectively eliminating the individual mandate penalty by reducing it to $0 as part of the 2017 tax cut bill.

https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/14/politics/texas-aca-lawsuit/index.html

Texas...figures.
 

Mach

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Ah, so Republicans failed 3 times to repeal Obama care, but they could just repeal one bit of it and effectively repeal the whole thing? That doesn't sound right.

I assume since Republicans removed the individual mandate, the thing that Big Insurance said would help them keep costs down, they basically ****ed us yet again? Thanks Republicans, your governance is ****.
 

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So, one federal judge overturns what the Supreme Court decided in 2011 -- that the ACA was constitutional and the mandate was a legitimate tax that Congress has a right to authorize.

The tax issue has been eliminated. That changes things.

But don't worry, this'll certainly make it to the Supremes again.
 

TurtleDude

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The tax issue has been eliminated. That changes things.

But don't worry, this'll certainly make it to the Supremes again.

The attorney arguing the case for the Obama Administration denied it was a tax and tried to justify it under the Commerce Clause. Four justices (the always vote for their party Democrats) agreed. Four Conservatives said BS. Roberts-trying to be clever, rejected the commerce clause nonsense but held it was a TAX. well guess what, now its no longer a tax. So it looks like you have four CC expansionists who will support it. Alito, Thomas will still oppose it. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are likely to oppose it, and Roberts position no longer has the one plank he needed to support the AHCA.
 

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I saw this picture on another site. It is appropriate, I think.

IMG_8468-600x582.jpg
 

MTAtech

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The attorney arguing the case for the Obama Administration denied it was a tax and tried to justify it under the Commerce Clause. Four justices (the always vote for their party Democrats) agreed. Four Conservatives said BS. Roberts-trying to be clever, rejected the commerce clause nonsense but held it was a TAX. well guess what, now its no longer a tax. So it looks like you have four CC expansionists who will support it. Alito, Thomas will still oppose it. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh are likely to oppose it, and Roberts position no longer has the one plank he needed to support the AHCA.
If so, so much for their belief in stare decisis.
 

TurtleDude

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If so, so much for their belief in stare decisis.

actually stare decisis doesn't apply once the law in question changes
 

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So the argument is that in 2017 the GOP Congress and GOP President, via their unpopular tax law, moved to throw 20+ million people off their insurance, brought back pre-existing conditions, bankrupted Medicare, defunded community health centers, de-authorized CHIP and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, destabilized the health care delivery system, re-opened the Medicare Part D donut hole, rescinded resources to produce more doctors and other care providers, and did a few thousand other awful things, and they did it all on purpose?

This was all a nefarious plot because they agreed all those things had to go if they zeroed out the individual mandate penalty but they did it anyway?

And this twisted, sociopathic narrative of GOP policymaking is coming from their supporters? Yikes.
 

Mycroft

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So the argument is that in 2017 the GOP Congress and GOP President, via their unpopular tax law, moved to throw 20+ million people off their insurance, brought back pre-existing conditions, bankrupted Medicare, defunded community health centers, de-authorized CHIP and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, destabilized the health care delivery system, re-opened the Medicare Part D donut hole, rescinded resources to produce more doctors and other care providers, and did a few thousand other awful things, and they did it all on purpose?

This was all a nefarious plot because they agreed all those things had to go if they zeroed out the individual mandate penalty but they did it anyway?

And this twisted, sociopathic narrative of GOP policymaking is coming from their supporters? Yikes.

Hyperbole is unbecoming of a reasoned person.

You should probably wait till the Supremes have their say.
 

Nickyjo

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The larger question is why? The program seems to be working. More people are insured. The GOP has no alternative plan pending. Why do they still want to kill the ACA? As we have heard til we are sick of it, all the developed countries in the world, plus some of the lesser developed, have government sponsored health care. In the US we have over a hundred million who have government sponsored health care: old people, poor people, Veterans, some kids, government employees. (True, given that they have government health care, like the Europeans these folks have to wait 20 years for a knee replacement.)

What, other than spite, motivates the states who sued over this? Do they hate Obama that much? Do they like the idea of people with flu symptoms going to emergency rooms?

Of course, good news is that the end result — if this decision stands — might mean something better than the ACA. Even Obama is open to that. Be careful what you wish for (and celebrate) conservatives... single payer lurks in the Haunted House next January. BOO!
 
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I'm at a loss to try and understand why the Republicans are doing this? The tax penalty has been removed? So what's the downside they're getting rid of. Or maybe more interestingly, what's their upside in killing this?
 

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The larger question is why? The program seems to be working. More people are insured. The GOP has no alternative plan pending. Why do they still want to kill the ACA?

Nihilism.
 

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The larger question is why? The program seems to be working. More people are insured. The GOP has no alternative plan pending. Why do they still want to kill the ACA? As we have heard til we are sick of it, all the developed countries in the world, plus some of the lesser developed, have government sponsored health care. In the US we have over a hundred million who have government sponsored health care: old people, poor people, Veterans, some kids, government employees. (True, given that they have government health care, like the Europeans these folks have to wait 20 years for a knee replacement.)

What, other than spite, motivates the states who sued over this? Do they hate Obama that much? Do they like the idea of people with flu symptoms going to emergency rooms?

Of course, good news is that the end result — if this decision stands — might mean something better than the ACA. Even Obama is open to that. Be careful what you wish for (and celebrate) conservatives... single payer lurks in the Haunted House next January. BOO!
Yeah, I'm at a complete loss here. I can see hating the mandate; that's a legit beef for some. But what's the beef with what's left?
 

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I personally agree with Justice Roberts that the fine in the Individual Mandate works as a tax, and I myself paid that fine/tax myself last year. It was just added to my April 15th bill. Also, the individual mandate has already been repealed by congress a few months ago, while the rest of the law has been kept in tact, so I don't see how striking down the mandate hurts the law any more than currently.

Personally, I am not a big fan of Obamacare, and while it is somewhat better than before, it didn't come close to fixing our healthcare system at all. If Obamacare is struck down, this will create such a political crisis with millions becoming uninsured and the loss of pre-existing conditions protections. I don't even know if congress can get a compromise together. I think this crisis will result in a Medicare for All solution to emerge in the early 2020s.
 

Tangmo

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Trump believes this court makes rulings based on the literal words of the Constitution and remains faithful to the founders original intent. Trump says this not knowing the intent of the founders or their purpose. This judge has a history of political present intent...

On August 21, 2016, O'Connor made a ruling against the Obama administration dealing with the government's interpretation of Title IX rules. The guidance from the White House was issued in May 2016, and addresses the Title IX requirement that schools receiving federal funding not discriminate against students on the basis of sex. O'Connor ruled that the new guidelines did not receive proper notice and comment prior to publication, and that Title IX and its implementing regulation are "not ambiguous" as to the "plain meaning of the term sex as used". As such, he issued a nationwide injunction preventing them from being enforced with respect to students' access to "intimate facilities."[3]

On December 31, 2016, in a separate case, O'Connor blocked the Obama administration’s regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (prohibiting sex discrimination in federally funded health programs) for a "likely" violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and what he said was an improper inclusion of gender identity discrimination.[4]

On October 5, 2018, O'Connor ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act was unconstitutional.[5]

On December 14, 2018, O'Connor ruled that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional.[6][7] O'Conner ruled that the individual mandate was unconstitutional by saying "[the] Individual Mandate can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress's Tax Power and is still impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause—meaning the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional."[6][8] The ruling was deemed likely to be appealed.[6] According to Nicholas Bagley, law professor at the University of Michigan, the Affordable Care Act would likely remain in effect throughout the appeals process.[6] President Donald Trump commented on the ruling twice on Twitter and mentioned O'Conner vaguely by saying "Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!"[9][10]


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reed_O'Connor


Talk about judge shopping every time Republican state attorneys general want a ruling by a US District Court they go to Texas. This court is under the 5th Circuit court of appeals which loves rulings on appeal from Texas courts cause it upholds 'em virtually every time, which is where they normally die. This ruling is expected to go all the way to the Supremes however given it contradicts directly and defiantly the Scotus earlier ruling on the Obamacare individual mandate specifically and explicitly.
 

Media_Truth

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So the argument is that in 2017 the GOP Congress and GOP President, via their unpopular tax law, moved to throw 20+ million people off their insurance, brought back pre-existing conditions, bankrupted Medicare, defunded community health centers, de-authorized CHIP and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, destabilized the health care delivery system, re-opened the Medicare Part D donut hole, rescinded resources to produce more doctors and other care providers, and did a few thousand other awful things, and they did it all on purpose?

This was all a nefarious plot because they agreed all those things had to go if they zeroed out the individual mandate penalty but they did it anyway?

And this twisted, sociopathic narrative of GOP policymaking is coming from their supporters? Yikes.

Very nice analysis!
 

Tangmo

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So the argument is that in 2017 the GOP Congress and GOP President, via their unpopular tax law, moved to throw 20+ million people off their insurance, brought back pre-existing conditions, bankrupted Medicare, defunded community health centers, de-authorized CHIP and the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, destabilized the health care delivery system, re-opened the Medicare Part D donut hole, rescinded resources to produce more doctors and other care providers, and did a few thousand other awful things, and they did it all on purpose?

This was all a nefarious plot because they agreed all those things had to go if they zeroed out the individual mandate penalty but they did it anyway?

And this twisted, sociopathic narrative of GOP policymaking is coming from their supporters? Yikes.

That's quite the rant.

You might consider applying for a Trump judgeship. Trump likes rants.
 

Arby

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That's quite the rant.

You might consider applying for a Trump judgeship. Trump likes rants.

The ACA in it's entirety is nearly 11,000 pages, that's 3 feet tall if printed out. Who read 11,000 pages? You? I surely didn't and I highly doubt any of our lawmakers did.
That said, there are parts of it I can agree with, but also parts I don't. IMO, a bipartisan committee should review it and remove the BS. With 11,000 pages, there's got to be a lot of BS in it.
 

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Yeah, I'm at a complete loss here. I can see hating the mandate; that's a legit beef for some. But what's the beef with what's left?

One thing that comes off the top of my head is this: And enormous amount of new taxes, fees, etc.

Here's a list of 11 things that are bad about Obamacare. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-wrong-with-obamacare-3306076 The mandate is one of them. That leaves 10 more that this site came up with.

Here's the one about the taxes:

Health care providers and health insurance companies paid additional taxes to help fund Obamacare's benefits. They may pass these costs on to consumers as higher premiums. Indoor tanning services were assessed a 10 percent excise tax. Drug companies will pay an extra $84.8 billion in fees over the next 10 years. That will pay for closing the "doughnut hole" in Medicare Part D. Medical device manufacturers and importers were assessed a 2.3 percent excise tax in 2013. Congress suspended the medical device tax for 2016-2018. Insurance companies will pay a 40 percent excise tax on "Cadillac" health plans in 2022. These plans are for people in high-risk pools, such as older workers or those with dangerous jobs.

In any case, a simple internet search (I used Bing) came up with numerous articles that present all kinds of reasons why Obamacare is bad.

Here's another one: https://money.cnn.com/2017/01/05/news/economy/why-people-hate-obamacare/index.html
 

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Here's a list of 11 things that are bad about Obamacare. https://www.thebalance.com/what-is-wrong-with-obamacare-3306076 The mandate is one of them.

That's the dumbest list I've ever seen. "Cut[ing] costs in the long run" by moving to value-based reimbursement is good. Digitizing a paper-based industry in the 21st century is good. "It made health care available to millions more" is good. "Workers could get a better plan through the exchanges" is good. Paying for new spending is good. That's a list of what's right with Obamacare.

The pretzels you folks twist yourselves into to justify this bizarre tribal ACA aversion.
 
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