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DATE 2019-05-01

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Key: Value:

Key: Value:

MESSAGE
DATE 2019-05-02
FROM Ruben Safir
SUBJECT Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] Obamacare in Court again
On 5/2/19 7:56 AM, Ruben Safir wrote:
> Trump Administration Files Formal Request to Strike Down All of Obamacare
> Supporters of the Affordable Care Act outside the Supreme Court in
> Washington in 2015.
> Credit
> Doug Mills/The New York Times
> 
> 
> Image
> Supporters of the Affordable Care Act outside the Supreme Court in
> Washington in 2015.CreditCreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
> By Jan Hoffman and Abby Goodnough
> May 1, 2019
> 

Older Events:

Texas Judge Strikes Down Obama’s Affordable Care Act as Unconstitutional
A protest over changes to the Affordable Care Act in June 2017 in
Chicago. On Friday, a judge in Texas struck down the entire law.
Credit
Scott Olson/Getty Images


Image
A protest over changes to the Affordable Care Act in June 2017 in
Chicago. On Friday, a judge in Texas struck down the entire
law.CreditCreditScott Olson/Getty Images
By Abby Goodnough and Robert Pear
Dec. 14, 2018

WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Texas struck down the entire Affordable
Care Act on Friday on the grounds that its mandate requiring people to
buy health insurance is unconstitutional and the rest of the law cannot
stand without it.

The ruling was over a lawsuit filed this year by a group of Republican
governors and state attorneys general. A group of intervening states led
by Democrats promised to appeal the decision, which will most likely not
have any immediate effect. But it will almost certainly make its way to
the Supreme Court, threatening the survival of the landmark health law
and, with it, health coverage for millions of Americans, protections for
people with pre-existing conditions and much more.

In his ruling, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort
Worth said that the individual mandate requiring people to have health
insurance “can no longer be sustained as an exercise of Congress’s tax
power.”

Accordingly, Judge O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, said that “the
individual mandate is unconstitutional” and the remaining provisions of
the Affordable Care Act are invalid.

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At issue was whether the health law’s insurance mandate still compelled
people to buy coverage after Congress reduced the penalty to zero
dollars as part of the tax overhaul that President Trump signed last
December.

When the Supreme Court upheld the mandate as constitutional in 2012, it
was based on Congress’s taxing power. Congress, the court said, could
legally impose a tax penalty on people who do not have health insurance.

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But in the new case, the 20 plaintiff states, led by Texas, argued that
with the penalty zeroed out, the individual mandate had become
unconstitutional — and that the rest of the law could not be severed
from it.

The Justice Department’s response to the case was highly unusual: though
it disagreed with the plaintiffs that the entire law should be struck
down, it declined this year to defend not just the individual mandate,
but the law’s provisions that protect people with pre-existing
conditions. That prompted a coalition of 16 states and the District of
Columbia, led by California, to intervene and defend the law.

On Friday night, a spokeswoman for Xavier Becerra, the California
attorney general, said California and the other defendant states would
challenge the ruling with an appeal in the United States Court of
Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.

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“Today’s ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with pre-existing
conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the A.C.A.’s
consumer protections for health care, on America’s faithful progress
toward affordable health care for all Americans,” Mr. Becerra said in a
statement. “The A.C.A. has already survived more than 70 unsuccessful
repeal attempts and withstood scrutiny in the Supreme Court.”

Attorney General Ken Paxton of Texas, who initiated the lawsuit,
applauded the decision, saying in a statement, “Today’s ruling enjoining
Obamacare halts an unconstitutional exertion of federal power over the
American health care system.”

He added, “Our lawsuit seeks to effectively repeal Obamacare, which will
give President Trump and Congress the opportunity to replace the failed
social experiment with a plan that ensures Texans and all Americans will
again have greater choice about what health coverage they need and who
will be their doctor.”

Mr. Trump, who has consistently sought the law’s repeal and has weakened
it through regulatory changes, posted a response to the ruling on
Twitter late Friday night: “As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been
struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster! Now Congress must pass a
STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing
conditions.”

The White House, in a separate statement late Friday, said: “We expect
this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Pending the appeal
process, the law remains in place.”

If Judge O’Connor’s decision ultimately stands, about 17 million
Americans will lose their health insurance, according to the Urban
Institute, a left-leaning think tank. That includes millions who gained
coverage through the law’s expansion of Medicaid, and millions more who
receive subsidized private insurance through the law’s online marketplaces.

Insurers will also no longer have to cover young adults up to age 26
under their parents’ plans; annual and lifetime limits on coverage will
again be permitted; and there will be no cap on out-of-pocket costs.

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Also gone will be the law’s popular protections for people with
pre-existing conditions, which became a major talking point in the
November midterm elections, as Democratic candidates constantly reminded
voters that congressional Republicans had tried to repeal the law last year.

Many Democrats successfully centered their midterm campaigns on
protecting the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandates for pre-existing
conditions.

Senator Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, one of the few Democratic
senators to save his seat in a heavily Trump-friendly state, excoriated
his opponent, West Virginia’s attorney general, Patrick Morrisey, for
joining the lawsuit decided in favor of the Republicans on Friday.

Democrats in Wisconsin campaigned on a pledge to withdraw the state from
the suit, and after they won, that state’s Republican Legislature passed
legislation blocking the newly elected Democrats from withdrawing. That
legislation was signed into law on Friday by Gov. Scott Walker, who lost
his bid for re-election in November.

But most Republican candidates insisted during the campaign that they
did not want to withdraw protections for pre-existing conditions, and
most were silent after Friday’s ruling.

Without those protections, insurers could return to denying coverage to
such people or to charging them more. They could also return to charging
people more based on their age, gender or profession.

The Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan research organization,
estimates that 52 million adults from 18 to 64, or 27 percent of that
population, would be rejected for coverage under the practices that were
in effect in most states before the Affordable Care Act.

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“If this Texas decision on the ACA is upheld, it would throw the
individual insurance market and the whole health care system into
complete chaos,” Larry Levitt, a senior vice president of the Kaiser
Family Foundation, wrote on Twitter. “But, the case still has a long
legal road to travel before that’s an immediate threat.”

Democrats immediately attacked the ruling as absurd. Representative
Nancy Pelosi of California said that when the party took control of the
House next month, with her as speaker, it would “move swiftly to
formally intervene in the appeals process to uphold the lifesaving
protections for people with pre-existing conditions and reject
Republicans’ effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act.”

In his ruling, Judge O’Connor agreed with the plaintiffs that the
individual mandate could not be severed from the rest of the Affordable
Care Act because it was “the keystone” of the law, essential to its
regulation of the health insurance market.

“The individual mandate is inseverable from the entire A.C.A.,” he declared.

The judge said he would not “parse the A.C.A.’s provisions one by one,”
but had to invalidate the whole law, including the expansion of Medicaid
and the requirement for employers to offer coverage to workers. “The
Medicaid-expansion provisions were designed to serve and assist
fulfillment of the individual mandate,” he wrote.

At oral arguments before Judge O’Connor in September, California and the
other intervening states had argued that the mandate could not be
unconstitutional if it was not forcing people to pay penalties anymore.
But even if Judge O’Connor threw it out, they said, the rest of the law
could legally be severed from it and survive.

The ruling came a day before the end of the fifth open enrollment season
for Affordable Care Act coverage in most states, one in which sign-ups
for “Obamacare,” as the coverage sold through the law’s marketplaces is
known, have declined so far by about 12 percent compared with last year.



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  1. 2019-05-02 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Obamacare in Court again
  2. 2019-05-02 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] Obamacare in Court again
  3. 2019-05-01 From: "Free Software Foundation" <info-at-fsf.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Free Software Supporter Issue 133, May 2019
  4. 2019-05-03 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] NYC before it was picked apart
  5. 2019-05-06 Gabor Szabo <gabor-at-szabgab.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] [Perlweekly] #406 - Perl Toolchain Summit - 2019
  6. 2019-05-06 NCPA eCommunications <ncpa.ecommunications-at-ncpanet.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] One day with Gabe can improve your front-end
  7. 2019-05-08 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Fwd: Ascend NYC on May 22,
  8. 2019-05-09 IEEE Spectrum <deliver-at-ieee.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Tech Alert
  9. 2019-05-12 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Animal Farm
  10. 2019-05-12 mrbrklyn <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] =?utf-8?q?Fwd=3A_Hiring_Senior_Tech_Talent=3F_?=
  11. 2019-05-13 Gabor Szabo <gabor-at-szabgab.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] [Perlweekly] #407 - What do you do when you can't
  12. 2019-05-13 Ascend NYC <jesse-at-joinascend.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Get introduced to the Top Tech Stars who will be
  13. 2019-05-14 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Your Cellphone OS wants to have a word with you
  14. 2019-05-13 From: =?utf-8?Q?Zo=C3=AB_Kooyman=2C_FSF?= <info-at-fsf.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] LibrePlanet 2019 videos now live!
  15. 2019-05-20 Gabor Szabo <gabor-at-szabgab.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] [Perlweekly] #408 - Are Perl Developers being
  16. 2019-05-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] NYLUG Hacking Meeting
  17. 2019-05-22 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] NYLUG Hacking Meeting
  18. 2019-05-22 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] seeing is believing
  19. 2019-05-23 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] mta solves overtime problem ... hires consultant
  20. 2019-05-23 IEEE Spectrum <deliver-at-ieee.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Tech Alert
  21. 2019-05-16 IEEE Spectrum <deliver-at-ieee.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Tech Alert
  22. 2019-05-14 IEEE Spectrum <deliver-at-ieee.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] The Institute Alert
  23. 2019-05-23 From: "SUSE" <news-at-suse.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] =?utf-8?q?Demystifying_Containers_=E2=80=93_Ker?=
  24. 2019-05-27 Ruben Safir <ruben.safir-at-my.liu.edu> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Fwd: Tomorrow: Join us at "NYLUG Open Hacker
  25. 2019-05-28 From: "S." <sman356-at-yahoo.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Fwd: Tomorrow: Join us... MARKED AS CANCELLED
  26. 2019-05-28 Ruben Safir <mrbrklyn-at-panix.com> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] Fwd: Tomorrow: Join us... MARKED AS CANCELLED
  27. 2019-05-28 Ruben Safir <ruben.safir-at-my.liu.edu> Re: [Hangout - NYLXS] Interesting that you ask if going,
  28. 2019-05-28 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Technite
  29. 2019-05-26 Gabor Szabo <gabor-at-szabgab.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] [Perlweekly] #409 - Fun with Python (programmers)
  30. 2019-05-28 IEEE Spectrum <deliver-at-ieee.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] The Institute Alert
  31. 2019-05-30 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] The Reaper ...
  32. 2019-05-31 Ruben Safir <ruben-at-mrbrklyn.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] copyright insanity
  33. 2019-05-31 From: "American Museum of Natural History" <learn-at-amnh.org> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Sail into Summer with an Online Course for
  34. 2019-05-31 einker <eminker-at-gmail.com> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Nice Linux Story to Share
  35. 2019-05-30 Rutgers University and HT Hosts <jesse-at-gohiretalent.net> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Rutgers University Hosts HireNewJersey 2019
  36. 2019-05-28 Ruben Safir <ruben.safir-at-my.liu.edu> Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] FYI - VC + Tech Summit

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