December 14, 2018 9:34 PM
Talk about your Friday night news dumps. A federal judge in Texas has struck down the Affordable Care Act on constitutional grounds. You may recall that when the Supreme Court upheld the act, they did so by declaring the individual mandate a tax. With the individual mandate repealed by this congress, various states including Georgia sued, and a federal judge has agreed that the original SCOTUS standing no longer applies.
From Bloomberg News:
Texas and an alliance of 19 states argued to the judge that they’ve been harmed by an increase in the number of people on state-supported insurance rolls. They claimed that when Congress repealed the tax penalty last year, it eliminated the U.S. Supreme Court’s rationale for finding the ACA constitutional in 2012.
The Texas judge agreed.
“The remainder of the ACA is non-severable from the individual mandate, meaning that the Act must be invalidated in whole,” O’Connor wrote.
Like many others, I just finished going over this year’s open enrollment (poor) options to continue coverage under the exchange. Given that all options to folks in metro Atlanta are HMO’s, I’ve long since given up my doctor I was promised I can keep. The $2,500 decline in premiums? I’ll be paying $650 per month for coverage that covers almost nothing until I pay an additional $7005 deductible. Thus, I’m out of pocket for about $15 grand before “insurance” kicks in.
This system is broken, and the judge has agreed that the vague constitutional construct used to justify it is gone. Let’s replace it with something that actually allows for flexibility and a patient to negotiate directly with the provider of their choosing.