The future of Obamacare is now in doubt after a ruling on Wednesday by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.
In a 2-1 decision, the court found that “the rule of law demands a careful, precise explanation of whether the provisions of the ACA are affected by the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate as it exists today.”
“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 opinion continued.
This was the outcome that the Trump Justice Department had argued for in a letter to the court, something that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi objected to.
“While the Trump Administration broadens its monstrous ambitions from destroying protections for pre-existing conditions to tearing down every last benefit and protection the Affordable Care Act provides, Democrats are fiercely defending the law of the land and protecting all Americans’ health care,” she said at the time.
California threatens to appeal
Meanwhile, the state of California wants Obamacare upheld. State Attorney General Xavier Becerra pledged to would challenge the ruling.
“We will move swiftly to challenge this decision and seek certification because this could mean the difference between life and death for so many Americans and their families,” adding, “The best way to get certainty is to go to the Supreme Court.”
Becerra complained 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.”
Far more positive in its reaction was the White House, which released a statement of his own celebrating the outcome. Calling it “a great victory for the American people,” the statement assured that “there will be no immediate changes to your healthcare insurance while the case proceeds.”
It also stated that “President Trump is committed to protecting Americans with preexisting conditions and will continue working to improve the quality, affordability, and accessibility of our healthcare system, as the courts continue to consider this case.”
“The President is working to deliver a healthcare system that protects the vulnerable, provides affordability, ensures choice and control for patients, and delivers high-quality care,” it concluded.