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.
USA hospital stocks are most at risk from the latest ruling, and could be down materially, according to Jefferies health-care strategist Jared Holz. That means that all the law's provisions remain in effect.
The case is "still moving through the courts", said the message from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
A federal judge's surprise move late in the day on December 14 to strike down the Affordable Care Act statute in its entirety is sending shock waves through the political world, but a jubilant lawyer on the winning legal team said the court ruling strikes a blow for freedom, is constitutionally sound, and is here to stay.
The law protects people with pre-existing conditions, allows children to have coverage through their parents' policies until age 26, and guarantees "essential health benefits" that include mental health, maternity and drug coverage.
While the court's "absurd ruling will be immediately appealed, Republicans are fully responsible for this cruel decision", she said. In fact, the Supreme Court has twice upheld the law as constitutional in both 2012 and 2015. Imagine a world where Judge O'Connor's ruling is upheld.
U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth agreed with a coalition of Republican states that the law needed to be eviscerated after Congress past year zeroed out a key provision - the tax penalty for not complying with the requirement to buy insurance. He concluded it is "impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause-meaning the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional".
A coalition of physicians groups-including the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Pediatrics-also opposed the ruling, based on the detrimental impact it would have on doctors' payments. "I look forward to its appeal to a higher court, and I intend to fight to ensure that the Senate has an opportunity to intervene to defend these critical health safeguards". If you have an Obamacare plan, it remains valid and any premium subsidy received will continue.
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Now is the time for genuine health care reform, not more federal meddling in Americans' lives, he said.
They have instead focused their fire on the Trump administration's alleged collusion in Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
The Healthcare.gov website is seen on a laptop computer on May 18, 2017 in Washington, D.C.
"In the near term, if the ruling were upheld, the loss of ACA-driven health insurance would eliminate the expanded Medicaid coverage that the ACA provided and hurt the individual market for health insurance that has helped millions of Americans", S&P said.
Thus, everyone involved in the lawsuit and everyone affected by Obamacare will be paying attention to what happens in the courts.
"It would really plunge the nation's health care system into chaos", Rovner says.
But it is so sweeping that many legal analysts believe it is likely to be overturned.
On the defensive, Republicans campaigning this fall promised that they, too, backed the health law's protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions. The companies are among health insurers with exposure to ACA.
Collins said while the rule requiring Americans to purchase health insurance or face monetary penalties, was deeply "unpopular" it makes no sense, she said, not to retain the aspects of the Obama-era health legislation that provide for necessary care. Meanwhile, America's health care industry has expressed trepidation about what's likely to be a very uncertain road ahead.