A Texas appeals court ruled yesterday that the Obamacare individual mandate unconstitutional and sends law back to lower court.
The US of Appeals issued its decision in the Texas v. United States case. The case challenged the constitutionality of the ACA’s individual mandate in light of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which zeroed out the individual mandate penalty. The appellate court was reviewing the lower court’s ruling that found that the individual mandate, with no accompanying tax penalty, is unconstitutional and that the individual mandate is such an essential part of the ACA that the ACA cannot function without the individual mandate in place.
In the appellate court’s ruling, it agreed that 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. However, when reviewing whether the individual mandate could be separated from the rest of the ACA, the appellate court sent that question back to the district court to provide additional analysis of the provisions of the ACA as they currently exist that was not provided in the lower court’s previous decision.
This ruling is not final and is expected to be engaged in appeals for the next several months, which will likely culminate in a hearing before the Supreme Court. This means that the ACA continues to be the law of the land and compliance with the ACA is still being enforced. Coverage for the 2020 plan year remains unaffected by the ruling.
If you have questions about the impact of this ruling, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.