Friday, December 14, 2018

Removal of individual mandate makes Obamacare unconstitutional (Texas judge ruling)



A Texas federal judge, Reed O’Connor, ruled today (Friday, December 14, 2018) that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, once the individual mandate (removed by Congress) goes away.  The repeal of the individual mandate would take place in 2019.  Stephanie Armour reported in the Wall Street Journal.  Bloomberg also has a report, by Tom Korosec and Kartikhay Mehrotra, emphasizing the politics of the decision. The judge has not been kind in transgender cases. 

The Supreme Court had ruled that it was constitutional according to the federal government’s power to tax.  Without the mandate, there is no such defense.


Yet Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, had instituted such a mandate in Massachusetts when governor, as a matter of “personal responsibility”.
  
Congress has never done the math in figuring out how to do a system that works more like, say, Switzerland, private but well regulated to prevent abuse.
 
 The judge allowed Obamacare to stay in effect until appeals are done, so people need to use open enrollment right away, so it is said on CNN.  (The open period ended Dec. 15, but there are some extensions into January, Sarah Mervosh, New York Times.) 

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