The battle for affordable healthcare continues as a federal appeals court has ruled that the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional but did not invalidate the entire law.
Politico reports that the court has sent the case to a lower court judge to determine whether or not any of the law can survive. This decision continues the ongoing legal turmoil surrounding the Affordable Care Act and makes it unlikely that the Supreme Court will be able to issue a final verdict on the law before the 2020 election.
The current case was brought to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals by over a dozen states under Republican leadership who argued that after the 2017 Republican tax package removed the penalty for not purchasing insurance, the law was no longer constitutional. This has continued the Trump administration’s legal assault on the law as it seeks to have the entire law rendered unconstitutional.
As we enter an election year it remains to be seen what effect that this ruling will have on the campaign trail. Healthcare has become a contentious issue over the last few years with Democrats advocating for a single-payer system or “Medicare for All,” and the Republican plan essentially being get rich or die trying. With an increased legal threat on Obamacare, advocating for the law’s protections for those with preexisting conditions could become a key campaign issue over the next year.