tl;dr Republicans are still assblasted Obama managed to accomplish more to improve lives of working class Americans than they can hope to, but are fearful a repeal of nondiscrimination clause in ACA would jeopardize Trump's reelection campaign.
The Affordable Care Act’s fate will still be up for grabs in the courts well after the 2020 election, thanks to a decision last night from a panel of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Driving the news: In a 2-1 ruling, the panel said the ACA’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. But the court declined to say how much of the rest of the law should fall along with it, instead punting that question back to a lower court to reconsider.
The backstory: Judge Reed O’Connor ruled last year that the individual mandate became unconstitutional in 2017, after Congress zeroed out the penalty for being uninsured.
- He said the entire ACA was bound up with the mandate, and thus the whole law was unconstitutional.
- Democrats appealed that decision to the 5th Circuit.
After attending the 5th Circuit’s oral arguments in this case over the summer, my sense was that the panel’s two conservative judges very much wanted to rule against the ACA, and that the mandate was probably doomed — but that they were spooked by the full implications of striking down the entire law.
- That comports pretty well with that they decided last night.
- The court said O’Connor’s ruling “does not explain with precision” why certain provisions of the ACA couldn’t survive, and instructed him “to employ a finer-toothed comb … and conduct a more searching inquiry.”https://www.axios.com/affordable-care-act-unconstitutional-2020-supreme-court-6f8847a6-1b34-4487-884b-5806906d171f.html