Politics

U.S. Appeals Court Declares Obama Individual Mandate Unconstitutional

A federal appeals court in New Orleans has struck down Obamacare’s “personal mandate,” ruling that the requirement that all Americans must have health insurance is unconstitutional.

The Fifth Circuit decision in Texas v. The United States makes it a win for the red states, and a defeat for the ACA, with a remand to the district court for further severability analysis. The court also holds that the red states have standing because they have to issue forms verifying who’s subject to the individual mandate.

It is said that California will appeal the ruling directly to the Supreme Court, per Attorney General spokeswoman. Look for Texas to file a cross-petition on severability.

The original ACA mandate, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the conservatives in ruling that the ACA was not a constitutional exercise of congressional power under the Commerce clause but could be upheld under the taxing power because of the individual mandate.

The Fifth Circuit now says though that the Republicans’ repeal of the tax penalty for not having insurance means that the ACA is now unconstitutional but it’s going remand to see if the trial court can pick out any pieces of it that are several.

The ruling should not affect the millions of Americans who signed up for 2020 coverage on the exchanges in recent weeks. Nearly 3.9 million people had selected policies through December 7, but millions more signed up or were automatically re-enrolled in policies through the end of open enrollment, which finished early Wednesday morning according to CNN.

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