Democrats Blast Gardner on Health Care Amid Another Obamacare Repeal Effort

Thursday, 11 Jul, 2019

A judge on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in the case that pits the Justice Department and 18 conservative-led states who want he healthcare plan thrown out against Nevada and 15 other states, and the House of Representatives, who are defending the program. With no fine for those who refuse to buy insurance, they argued that the mandate is now unconstitutional, and since it's a central part of the law, so is the entire ACA.

Later that afternoon, Blumenthal brought that photo of Conner to the floor of the U.S. Senate, as one Democratic senator after another spoke in defense of the ACA's protections.

When the law was proposed, friends and foes of "Obamacare" agreed that the tax was essential to persuade healthy people to get insured, thereby keeping premiums in check.

In an unusual break with tradition, the Trump administration announced about a year ago that it would not defend the ACA in court. Legal scholars say procedural questions like that might determine the outcome of the case rather than the merits of each side's arguments.

The Affordable Care Act has sharply reduced the number of uninsured Americans since 2010, covering 20 million more people than if the law had not taken effect, according to the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

Insurance companies Centene Corp. and Molina Health Inc., which have large Obamacare enrollments, would have their business models upended if the law is tossed out.

But the ACA, also known as Obamacare, is anything but safe. The law now protects those individuals from denial of coverage or steeper prices because they have chronic illnesses. "It's so alarming how much is riding on this technical legal argument".

He noted the GOP-led Senate wasn't before the court, even as House Democrats dispatched a lawyer to argue in defense of the law.

The lead Justice Department lawyer on the motion was Assistant Attorney General Joseph H. Hunt, whom Trump tapped previous year to oversee the department's civil division.

The lawsuit against the ACA was brought by 20 Republican state attorneys general and governors, as well as two individuals - though the number of attorneys general is now down to 18 after Democrats took control of ME and Wisconsin in the midterm election previous year. "Health insurance until very recently has never been considered the responsibility of the federal government".

Romano declined to say whether a court-ordered end of the ACA would hurt Connecticut Republicans politically, but said Democrats "are grasping at straws" with their attacks on those who oppose the health care law.

Judge Jennifer Elrod, appointed by President George W. Bush, asked if lawmakers meant to knock down the law when they ended the penalty for not having coverage as part of the 2017 tax overhaul.

Overturning the law would have far-reaching consequences - way beyond disrupting coverage for the millions of people who get their health insurance on the exchanges or through Medicaid expansion.

A federal appeals court will consider whether to uphold a Texas judge's ruling declaring the Obamacare healthcare law unconstitutional, a position now backed by the Trump administration.

Now, with this tax removed, Republican appointees on the three-judge panel in New Orleans, have been asking questions regarding whether or not the ACA can stand without it.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal defends the ACA and tells the story of a young constituent, Conner Curran who was helped by the health care law.

In 2017, Gardner voted for three Republican proposals that would have partially repealed or replaced the ACA, each of which failed.

Weiser believes the individual mandate can still be upheld because a law can exist even though there are zero penalties.

Republicans have repeatedly tried to repeal Obamacare since its 2010 passage.

"All the court has to do is look at the text of the [tax law], see that Congress zeroed out the only thing enforceable", he said.

In March, he said, "hopefully, we will win at the appellate division and go to the Supreme Court to terminate Obamacare".