A Federal Judge in Texas threw the Health Coverage of some 20 Million Americans in Limbo late Friday by Ruling Obamacare must be Scrapped because Congress Struck the Penalty for Failing to Obtain Insurance Coverage.
The Invalidation of the Landmark 2010 Law is certain to send shock waves through the U.S. Health System and Washington after a Midterm Election seen in Part as a Rebuke to Republican efforts to Tear Down Obamacare.
But the Decision is almost certain to be Appealed and could ultimately become the Third Major Obamacare Case to be taken up by the Supreme Court, which has Twice Voted to Uphold the Law.
Judge Reed O'Connor, an Appointee of President George W. Bush, Acknowledged that Health Care is a "politically charged affair — inflaming emotions and testing civility."
But he added Courts "are not tasked with, nor are they suited to, policymaking." Instead, he said they must determine what the Constitution requires. In this Case, O'Connor said the Constitution does not allow the Mandate to stand.
The reasoning of the Ruling states that in 2012, the Supreme Court Upheld the Mandate to have Coverage because of Congress's Power to Tax. But, last year, Congress Removed the Fine for Failing to Comply with the Mandate, which, he argues, means the Mandate is No longer a Tax and therefore is Unconstitutional.
In a Controversial Move, the Judge added that because the Mandate is "essential" to the rest of the Law, without the Mandate, the Entire Law is Invalid.
Legal Experts in Both Parties have Denounced that Argument, saying it is obvious that Congress wanted the Rest of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to Remain when it Repealed Only the Mandate Penalty last year.
Democrats Accused the Judge of waiting until after the Election to Issue the Ruling, saying he knew Striking down the Law before the Election would Harm Republicans.
The Court Case, brought by 20 GOP-led States, was at the Center of this year's Campaign after Democrats attacked Republicans for Supporting the Lawsuit and Seeking to Overturn ObamaCare's Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions.
The Trump Administration, in a rare move, Declined to Defend the Law in Court and instead Argued the Pre-Existing Condition Protections should be Overturned.
Nicholas Bagley, a Law Professor at the University of Michigan, wrote on Twitter Friday night, that he thinks the Ruling does Not Prevent the Affordable Care Act from Remaining in effect while the Appeals Process plays out, because there is No Injunction from the Court.
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