In a 2-1 ruling, the 5th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled Obamacare’s individual mandate unconstitutional, while leaving other parts of the law pending further review.
BREAKING NEWS: Obamacare ruling is out. Individual mandate is unconstitutional. Fifth Circuit, however, sends the case back down to the lower court to see if any other parts of the law can be saved.
— Lydia Wheeler (@WheelerLydia) December 18, 2019
The SunSentinel reports the “individual mandate” of former President Barack Obama’s health care law is invalid, but other parts of the law need further review, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
The 2-1 ruling handed down by a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans largely sidestepped what happens to some of the most popular parts of the Affordable Care Act such as protections for those with pre-existing conditions, Medicaid expansion and the ability for children under the age of 26 to remain on their parents insurance.
The panel agreed with Texas-based U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s 2018 finding that the law’s insurance requirement, the so-called “individual mandate,” was rendered unconstitutional when Congress, in 2017, reduced a tax on people without insurance to zero.
The court reached no decision on the big issue — how much of the Affordable Care Act must fall along with the insurance mandate. The Act has remained in place while the question of its future has been litigated in court.
“It may still be that none of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate, even after this inquiry is concluded. It may be that all of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate. It may also be that some of the ACA is severable from the individual mandate, and some is not,” Judge Jennifer Elrod wrote.