A federal appeals court upheld the decision to rule as unconstitutional a major feature of the “Obamacare” law.

Last Wednesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans remanded a case to a Texas judge to decide what other aspects of the Affordable Care Act should be reviewed.

According to Fox News, the key funding mechanism of the law, known as individual mandate, was eliminated by Congress. The 2-1 vote means that all legislation requiring most Americans to purchase health insurance or face a tax penalty can’t go into effect.

The three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the ruling set forth by Texas District Judge Red O’Connor who specified that the insurance requirement was rendered unconstitutional when, in 2017, Congress eliminated a tax penalty on people without insurance.

Texas and 18 other Republican-led states filed the suit, which was defended by Democrats and the House. Texas argued that due to the unlawfulness of the individual mandate, the entire law should be scrapped.

The ruling is a victory for a coalition of 18 conservative attorneys general, as well as for the Donald Trump administration, which has long opposed the law in court, according to The Hill.

“The rule of law demands a careful, precise explanation of whether the provisions of the ACA are affected by the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate as it exists today,” the judges wrote in the ruling.

“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,” wrote Justice Jennifer Walker Elrod.

Xavier Becerra, the attorney general who heads a coalition of states that defend the health care law, said Wednesday that he will appeal to the high court immediately.

According to National Public Radio, if the high court, which has upheld the ACA twice since its initial approval in 2010, favors the appeals court, it could alter the entire U.S. medical system.

As National Public Radio notes, President Trump said that over the years he has been stating “that the individual mandate, by far the worst element of Obamacare, is unconstitutional,” noting that his administration will work to protect guarantees of coverage for people with medical problems.

“The radical healthcare changes being proposed by the far left would strip Americans of their current coverage. I will not let this happen,” the president added.

For now the case requiring four votes to be heard in the Supreme Court could be taken up for a final decision after 2020, it is expected that the Democratic candidates will strengthen the defense of the Obamacare law by then.


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