Department of Justice Asks Court of Appeals to Invalidate the Affordable Care Act

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In December 2018, District Court Judge Reed O’Connor ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was unconstitutional after Congress nullified the individual mandate’s tax penalty for not maintaining health insurance coverage throughout the year. On March 25, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice asked the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the lower court’s ruling. Administration officials have not been shy about their dislike for the ACA, even asking the District Court to invalidate parts of the law when it was being challenged. But by asking the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the lower court’s ruling, the Administration is taking a stronger stance by refusing to defend the law and asserting that the entire law should be declared unconstitutional. If the ACA and its regulations are invalidated in their entirety, the uninsured rate could spike to 65 percent according to a study by the Urban Institute. Oral arguments before the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals have not yet been scheduled, but they will likely occur over the summer months. Read more here.

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