Health Stocks Prepare for Market Jolt After Obamacare Ruling

U.S. judge finds obamacare unconstitutional

No one can predict how an appeals court or the U.S. Supreme Court will treat this decision as the case winds its way up the judicial system on review, and it remains to be seen whether a fractured Congress and the president can develop revisions to the law that would satisfy the courts and the American people. Despite the ruling, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid (CMS) has stated that the exchanges remain open and 2018 and 2019 coverage will not be impacted.

The 55-page ruling late Friday from U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor found the law originally passed in 2010 invalid on the basis of the political and legal history of a few key provisions.

"Yes, there are things to do, but we should be working to improve the Affordable Care Act, not just throw it out and set it on fire", Klobuchar said.

Judge O'Connor's ruling is not expected to become effective in the immediate future.

We strongly disagree with the ruling and urged the court not to accept the plaintiff's severability argument in an amicus brief filed earlier this year along with other national organizations representing hospitals and health systems.

For their part, in the wake of the December 14 ruling, the Trump administration and congressional Republicans have promoted the illusion that they will seek to defend protections for those with preexisting conditions.

Democrats weren't the only ones to criticize the decision.

In the meantime, the deadline for Americans seeking health insurance coverage during 2019 under Obamacare had arrived on Saturday night, and the Texas ruling did not disturb that process or interfere with the coverage that those who signed up had obtained - at least that is the assurance that federal health officials have given.

"As our nation is in the midst of an opioid crisis, this coverage is especially needed", Evans said in a statement. Certain providers of substance abuse treatment, emergency services and mental health services could also be negatively impacted.

Texas and an alliance of 19 states argued to the judge that they've been harmed by an increase in the number of people on state-supported insurance rolls. The Supreme Court upheld this individual mandate in 2012.

The Texas judge agreed.

"Nearly a decade of constant and cynical assault on what was supposed to be a compromise bill has pushed the Democratic Party left on health care policy, and persuaded Democrats everywhere that trying to compromise or placate Republicans is foolish", wrote Klein. "The Individual Mandate is essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA". The Texas Attorney General, joined by a consortium of 18 other state attorneys general and a governor, initiated a lawsuit attacking the ACA soon thereafter, arguing that the elimination of the linchpin penalty provision rendered the entire law unconstitutional.

The GOP-led states who brought the lawsuit asked O'Connor to toss out the entire law after Congress repealed the "individual mandate" penalty for going without coverage. "Now we have a judge saying we have an unenforceable mandate". In the prior year, the total enrolled was 12.2 million.

In his ruling, O'Connor reasoned that the body of the law could not be surgically separated from its now-meaningless requirement for people to have health insurance.

On the defensive, Republicans campaigning this fall promised that they, too, backed the health law's protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions.

A federal judge's ruling late Friday striking down the Affordable Care Act in its entirety has stoked anxiety among millions of Americans who rely on subsidized health insurance and millions more who have pre-existing conditions.

"We need to look at the policy not through the courts but by the legislative process and I think this is the more important lesson of how critical it is for the states to now reassert themselves in their role, to step back in and to be the drivers of health care policymaking", he said.

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