A change Congressional Republicans made to one part of the Affordable Care Act means that courts should overturn the entire law, according to a lawsuit that Kansas and Missouri signed onto this week.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt and Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley joined officials in 18 other Republican-led states in the latest challenge to the law commonly called Obamacare.
Most of the 2010 law's sweeping health insurance changes have survived previous lawsuits and Republican promises of complete repeal through the legislative process. This year's repeal efforts in Congress, energized by President Donald Trump's election, mostly fizzled. But they produced one significant change: the end of the tax penalty for individual Americans who don't carry health insurance, effective in 2019.
While the tax was repealed, the mandate to carry insurance is still a part of the law, if only symbolically. Schmidt said that, plus an earlier U.S. Supreme Court decision on the issue, means the ACA should now be ruled unconstitutional.
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“In 2012, the Supreme Court left the Obamacare mandate hanging by the thinnest of legal threads,” Schmidt said. “We think Congress snipped that thread in the tax reform bill.”
"It’s time for Derek Schmidt and President Trump to move on from their war on Kansans’ health care and start working on bipartisan solutions to protect people’s coverage and bring costs down," said Protect Our Care Campaign director Brad Woodhouse.