Court says part of ‘Oba­macare’ is in­valid, more re­view needed

Orlando Sentinel - - NATION & WORLD -

NEW OR­LEANS — The “in­di­vid­ual man­date” of former Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s health care law is in­valid, but other parts of the law need fur­ther re­view, a fed­eral ap­peals court ruled Wed­nes­day.

The 2-1 rul­ing in the 5th U.S. Cir­cuit Court of Ap­peals in New Or­leans largely sidesteppe­d what hap­pens to some of the most pop­u­lar parts of the Af­ford­able Care Act such as pro­tec­tions for those with pre­ex­ist­ing con­di­tions, Med­i­caid ex­pan­sion and the abil­ity for chil­dren un­der the age of 26 to re­main on their par­ents in­sur­ance.

The panel agreed with Texas-based U.S. Dis­trict Judge Reed O’Con­nor’s 2018 find­ing that the law’s in­sur­ance re­quire­ment, the so-called in­di­vid­ual man­date, was ren­dered un­con­sti­tu­tional when Congress, in 2017, elim­i­nated a tax on peo­ple with­out in­sur­ance.

The court reached no de­ci­sion on the big is­sue — how much of the Af­ford­able Care Act must fall along with the in­sur­ance man­date. The Act has re­mained in place while the ques­tion of its fu­ture has been lit­i­gated in court.

“It may still be that none of the ACA is sev­er­able from the in­di­vid­ual man­date, even af­ter this in­quiry is con­cluded. It may be that all of the ACA is sev­er­able from the in­di­vid­ual man­date. It may also be that some of the ACA is sev­er­able from the in­di­vid­ual man­date, and some is not,“Judge Jen­nifer El­rod wrote.

In dis­sent, Judge Carolyn Di­neen King said her col­leagues were pro­long­ing “un­cer­tainty over the fu­ture of the health­care sec­tor.” King would have found the man­date con­sti­tu­tional, although un­en­force­able, and would have left the rest of the law alone.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.