ACA Under Attack

I have uploaded the opinion handed down this evening by the U.S.D.C. for the Northern District of Texas (O’Connor, J.) overturning the ACA.   Needless to say, I thought that the decision was important enough that it should be uploaded even before I had an opportunity to read it.  Thus, I cannot summarize it or comment upon it at this point.

I am not clear on the current procedural posture of the case.  For instance, it does not appear that the court issued some sort of relief to the plaintiffs that would, without a stay, either immediately stop the ACA or give a right to an appeal without further proceedings in the district court.

I will update as matters are clarified.

3 thoughts on “ACA Under Attack”

  1. The general argument with respect to the individual mandate:
    1) The individual mandate is textually distinct from the penalty for not buying insurance. (In other words, one section says that people should by insurance, and another specifies the penalty for not doing so.)
    2) Congress set the penalty to zero in 2017.
    3) In an earlier challenge to the ACA, Roberts said that the individual mandate was Constitutional based on the power of Congress to tax.
    4) But now, with the tax rate set to zero, there is no tax associated with the individual mandate. Therefore the individual mandate is no longer Constitutional.

    After striking down the individual mandate, the Court concludes that the individual mandate cannot be separated from the rest of the ACA, based on the fact that the individual mandate was an essential part of the scheme set up by the ACA.

    Based on case law at the time the ACA was enacted, the law was a Constitutional exercise of Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce, but the Roberts decision changed that, which is why we are now discussing the tax power.

  2. So “logically” speaking, if congress set the penalty for ignoring the mandate to $0.01 everything would be copacetic again?

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