Affordable Care Act without individual mandate ruled unconstitutional

by jerry on December 16, 2018
In a follow-up to a lawsuit filed earlier this year (which the Justice Department declined to defend), Kaiser Health News reported that a federal district court judge in Texas ruled that the Affordable Care Act, with the subsequent removal of the individual mandate, was unconstitutional. An earlier Supreme Court decision ruled that Congress does have authority to enact the Affordable Care Act because it can levy taxes, which the Supreme Court considered the Affordable Care Act to be. The removal of the individual mandate removes the part considered to be a tax, and hence the federal district court judge ruled that the legislation is no longer constitutional. The current White House administration, which opposes the Affordable Care Act recognizes that nothing should change in the short-term, since the Supreme Court will most likely hear the appeal.

The Affordable Care Act was sweeping legislation that was approved by a very slim margin. Even though the political climate did not change enough to completely overturn the legislation, there was enough change for opponents to cast this uncertainty. The political instability makes it more difficult for either side to gain momentum.