Federal appeals court declares Obamacare individual mandate unconstitutional

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck a major blow against Obamacare this week, ruling that its individual mandate requiring every American to have health insurance violates the Constitution, according to the New York Post.

“The individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power,” the court’s official opinion read.

“On the severability question, we remand to the district court to provide additional analysis of the provisions of the ACA as they currently exist,” it continued, setting the stage for further consideration of whether the entire statutory framework of the Affordable Care Act should be discarded now that the individual mandate portion of it has been deemed unlawful, according to ABC News.

In March, the Trump Justice Department wrote a letter to the Fifth Circuit that voiced agreement with the lower court’s decision that Obamacare should be voided in its entirety because Congress had eliminated the financial penalty on Americans who did not obtain insurance coverage. “The Department of Justice has determined that the district court’s judgment should be affirmed,” it read, according to the Post. “[T]he United States is not urging that any portion of the district court’s judgment be reversed.”

Administration reaction

In response to the ruling from the appeals court, the president released a statement in support.

“Today’s decision in Texas v. Azar is a win for all Americans and confirms what I have said all along: that the individual mandate, by far the worst element of Obamacare, is unconstitutional,” he declared.

Trump promised that “this decision will not alter the current health care system,” adding:

My Administration continues to work to provide access to high-quality health care at a price you can afford, while strongly protecting those with pre-existing conditions.

“The radical health care changes being proposed by the far left would strip Americans of their current coverage. I will not let this happen,” he went on. “Providing affordable, high-quality health care will always be my priority.”

Appeal promised

However, not everyone was so enthusiastic about the ruling. Among those objecting is California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who released a statement of his own in which he promised an immediate appeal.

“California will move swiftly to challenge this decision because this could mean the difference between life and death for so many Americans and their families,” it read, according to The Hill.

Becerra went on to contend that the decision “has created real and long-term uncertainty for all Americans, but certainly those who have used the essential benefits of the Affordable Care Act to cover themselves and their family.” But that’s not how Trump sees it.

“They are trying to take away your health care,” Trump said, “and I am trying to give the American people the best health care in the world.”

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