Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Judge’s Ruling on ‘Obamacare’ Poses New Problems for GOP
By admin
Published 6 years ago on
December 17, 2018

Share

WASHINGTON — A federal judge’s ruling that the Obama health law is unconstitutional has landed like a stink bomb among Republicans, who’ve seen the politics of health care flip as Americans increasingly value the overhaul’s core parts, including protections for pre-existing medical conditions and Medicaid for more low-income people.
While the decision by the Republican-appointed judge in Texas was sweeping, it has little immediate practical impact because the Affordable Care Act remains in place while the legal battle continues, possibly to the Supreme Court.
HealthCare.gov , the government’s site for signing up, was taking applications Saturday, the deadline in most states for enrolling for coverage next year, and those benefits will take effect as scheduled Jan. 1. Medicaid expansion will proceed in Virginia, one of the latest states to accept that option. Employers will still be required to cover the young adult children of workers, and Medicare recipients will still get discounted prescription drugs.
But Republicans, still stinging from their loss of the House in the midterm elections, are facing a fresh political quandary after U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor said the entire 2010 health law was invalid.
Warnings about the Texas lawsuit were part of the political narrative behind Democrats’ electoral gains. Health care was the top issue for about one-fourth of voters in the November election, ahead of immigration and jobs and the economy, according to VoteCast, a nationwide survey for The Associated Press. Those most concerned with health care supported Democrats overwhelmingly.

Struck by Relative Silence From Top Republicans

In his ruling, O’Connor reasoned that the body of the law could not be surgically separated from its now-meaningless requirement for people to have health insurance.

“On the assumption that the Supreme Court upholds, we will get great, great health care for our people. We’ll have to sit down with the Democrats to do it, but I’m sure they want to do it also.” — President Donald Trump
“On the assumption that the Supreme Court upholds, we will get great, great health care for our people,” President Donald Trump told reporters during a visit Saturday to Arlington National Cemetery. “We’ll have to sit down with the Democrats to do it, but I’m sure they want to do it also.”
Economist Gail Wilensky, who oversaw the Medicare program for President George H.W. Bush, said the state attorneys general from GOP strongholds who filed the lawsuit really weren’t very considerate of their fellow Republicans.
“The fact that they could cause their fellow Republicans harm did not seem to bother them,” said Wilensky, a critic of President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement.
“The people who raised it are a bunch of guys who don’t have serious election issues, mostly from states where saber-rattling against the ACA is fine,” she added. “How many elections do you have to get battered before you find another issue?”
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, top policy adviser to Republican John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign, said he was struck by the relative silence from top Republicans after the ruling issued.
A prominent example: “The House was not party to this suit, and we are reviewing the ruling and its impact,” said AshLee Strong, spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Republicans are “going to have to figure out what to do,” Holtz-Eakin said. “If it’s invalidated by the courts, it’s not … ‘We’re going to do it our way.’ They’re going to have to get together with the Democrats in the House.”

No Consensus Within GOP

The GOP’s failed effort last year to repeal the law showed there’s no consensus within the party itself.
Trump tweeted Friday night that “Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.”
“Get it done!” he told Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who is expected to be speaker in January. But Trump had no plan of his own to offer in the 2017 “repeal and replace” debate.
Two top House Republicans issued diverging statements.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said “Obamacare is a broken law,” but added, “I am committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure America’s healthcare system works for all Americans.”
The third-ranking GOP leader, Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise, praised the judge’s ruling and made no mention of working with Democrats, whom he accused of “running a fear-mongering campaign” to win control of the House last month.

Democrats United in Condemning Ruling

The chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, said that if the law is ultimately overturned, then members of Congress from both parties should start over, working together. He urged maintaining provisions such as protections for pre-existing medical conditions, no lifetime dollar limits on insurance coverage, and allowing young adults to stay on parental coverage until age 26.

“The legal merits of the case are frivolous. The notion that the unconstitutionality of an unenforceable mandate somehow requires toppling the entire ACA is bonkers.” — University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley
Democrats were united in condemning the ruling.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York said voters will remember. “What will stand is Republican ownership of such a harmful and disastrous lawsuit,” Schumer tweeted.
The next chapter in the legal case could take months to play out.
A coalition of Democratic state officials led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will appeal O’Connor’s decision, most likely to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans.
“The legal merits of the case are frivolous,” said University of Michigan law professor Nicholas Bagley. “The notion that the unconstitutionality of an unenforceable mandate somehow requires toppling the entire ACA is bonkers.” Bagley supports the law generally, but has been critical of how it has been put into effect.

DON'T MISS

‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Is Here to Shake up the Marvel Cinematic Universe

DON'T MISS

Salt Lake City Awarded 2034 Olympics Under IOC Pressure Over Doping Inquiries

DON'T MISS

Don’t Take Trump’s Word for It. Check the Data.

DON'T MISS

CA Task Force Seizes 8 Million Fentanyl Pills in Six Months: Gov. Newsom

DON'T MISS

Netanyahu Defends War in Gaza and Denounces Protesters In Fiery Speech to Congress

DON'T MISS

Central Trustees’ Vote Puts $109 Million Bond Measure on Ballot

DON'T MISS

Biden Will Make a Case for His Legacy – and for Harris to Continue It – in His Oval Office Address

DON'T MISS

Meta Takes Down Thousands of Facebook, Instagram Accounts Running Sextortion Scams

DON'T MISS

Fresno Political Community Mourns Death of Sean Burdine

DON'T MISS

Police Use Pepper Spray as Protesters March to U.S. Capitol Against Israel’s Gaza War

UP NEXT

CrowdStrike Offers Meager $10 Gift Card as Apology for Massive Outage

UP NEXT

FBI Reveals Trump Gunman Wanted to Mimic Lee Harvey Oswald

UP NEXT

Seven Major US Labor Unions Urge Biden to Halt Military Aid to Israel

UP NEXT

Secret Service Director Steps Down After Assassination Attempt Against Ex-President Trump at Rally

UP NEXT

Rescue From Above: How Drones May Narrow Emergency Response Times

UP NEXT

NATO Strengthens Defense Against Russia with 500K Troops Ready to Deploy

UP NEXT

Secret Service Chief Pummeled by Lawmakers Who Want Her to Resign

UP NEXT

Secret Service Director Says Trump Assassination Attempt Was Biggest Agency ‘Failure’ in Decades

UP NEXT

Ten Commandments Won’t Go in Louisiana Classrooms Until at Least November as Lawsuit Plays Out

UP NEXT

911 Systems Disrupted in at Least 3 States

CA Task Force Seizes 8 Million Fentanyl Pills in Six Months: Gov. Newsom

57 mins ago

Netanyahu Defends War in Gaza and Denounces Protesters In Fiery Speech to Congress

2 hours ago

Central Trustees’ Vote Puts $109 Million Bond Measure on Ballot

2 hours ago

Biden Will Make a Case for His Legacy – and for Harris to Continue It – in His Oval Office Address

3 hours ago

Meta Takes Down Thousands of Facebook, Instagram Accounts Running Sextortion Scams

3 hours ago

Fresno Political Community Mourns Death of Sean Burdine

3 hours ago

Police Use Pepper Spray as Protesters March to U.S. Capitol Against Israel’s Gaza War

3 hours ago

Tyler Fitzgerald Becomes 1st Giants Rookie to Homer in 5 Straight Games

4 hours ago

Did the Harris Entrance Reset the Polling Against Trump?

4 hours ago

NASA Telescope Spots a Super Jupiter That Takes More Than a Century to Go Around Its Star

4 hours ago

‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Is Here to Shake up the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Shawn Levy is no novice when it comes to rumors around his projects. Years on “Stranger Things” taught him how to tune out the n...

8 mins ago

8 mins ago

‘Deadpool & Wolverine’ Is Here to Shake up the Marvel Cinematic Universe

47 mins ago

Salt Lake City Awarded 2034 Olympics Under IOC Pressure Over Doping Inquiries

57 mins ago

Don’t Take Trump’s Word for It. Check the Data.

Photo of Mexican Oxy, fentanyl laced blue pills
57 mins ago

CA Task Force Seizes 8 Million Fentanyl Pills in Six Months: Gov. Newsom

2 hours ago

Netanyahu Defends War in Gaza and Denounces Protesters In Fiery Speech to Congress

2 hours ago

Central Trustees’ Vote Puts $109 Million Bond Measure on Ballot

3 hours ago

Biden Will Make a Case for His Legacy – and for Harris to Continue It – in His Oval Office Address

3 hours ago

Meta Takes Down Thousands of Facebook, Instagram Accounts Running Sextortion Scams

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend