Breaking: The Fifth Circuit court of appeals has overturned the individual mandate in the “affordable care act” in a 2-1 panel vote.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Wednesday ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, but sent the matter back down to a district court to determine whether that provision can be removed from the rest of the Obama-era healthcare law.
The split panel found that both groups of states in the case have standing, one to challenge the Obama-era health policy and the other to defend it. The panel also found the individual mandate is now unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, but remanded the case to the district court to provide additional analysis on severability.
“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 by Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod reads, pointing back to U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts’ 2012 opinion upholding the Affordable Care Act.
Elrod wrote that the “decision breaks no new ground,” as the mandate was “originally cognizable as either a command or a tax. Today, it is only cognizable as a command.”
Judge Carolyn Dineen King said she agreed with the bulk of the majority’s ruling but dissented to remanding on severability. King said that is an issue the panel could review de novo.
“Regardless of whether the ACA is good or bad policy, it is undoubtedly significant policy. It is unlikely that Congress would want a statute on which millions of people rely for their healthcare and livelihoods to disappear overnight with the wave of a judicial wand.”
This comes a year after federal district court judge Reed O’Connor made the initial ruling, and declared the entire ACA to be unconstitutional. Of course the various leftist hoards have appealed that ruling, leading to this 5th Circuit decision.
Leftists, predictably, are up in arms over the notion they might not have the power to force people give thousands of dollars a year to the big corporate insurance companies.
BREAKING: The 5th Circuit Court just ruled against the Affordable Care Act – dragging out a Republican lawsuit that jeopardizes health care protections for millions of Americans.
Republicans own this. They owe Americans an explanation.
It's time for the Supreme Court to act.
— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) December 18, 2019
RE: the #ACA decision.
For now, Pres Trump got the gift he wanted—uncertainty in the healthcare system & a pathway to repeal—so that the care that seniors, workers & families secured under the ACA could be yanked from under them.
CA will move swiftly to challenge this decision.
— Archive – Attorney General Becerra (@AGBecerra) December 18, 2019
Sorry, team Trump. Our coalition of states that @AGBecerra leads to save the #ACA won't stand for the 5th Circuit ruling: CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, KY, MA, MI, MN, NC, NJ, NV, NY, OR, RI, VA, VT, WA, DC. #ProtectOurCare
— Sarah Lovenheim (@lovenheim) December 18, 2019
The 5th Circuit Court’s “decision” could still lead to millions of Americans losing their health care. This uncertainty is only possible because the Trump Admin and Republican members of Congress aided and abetted this obscene lawsuit. This is health care sabotage at its finest. https://t.co/M7NOGPNiMP
— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) December 18, 2019
Stay tuned as the court battles continue.