The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is questioning whether Obamacare is unconstitutional.
A three-judge panel heard arguments Tuesday from Texas and 17 other states to uphold a lower court ruling that said Congress' removal of the individual mandate in 2017 invalidated the entire law.
“Where Congress made the mistake in the way they created the Affordable Care Act and tied everything to the individual mandate, the job by the Court of Appeals is to call balls and strikes and constitutionality,” says Rob Henneke, general counsel to the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Roughly 20 million Americans are currently signed up and using Obamacare. Many worry about pre-existing conditions.
“If we can get the federal government out of the way of health care, if we strike down the Affordable Care Act, then all the states are each in a position to adopt laws that will provide a safety net for persons with uninsurable pre-existing conditions, and address the health care needs of the poor,” says Henneke.
Whatever is decided by the Fifth Circuit, Hennke says the case is likely headed back to the U.S. Supreme Court, which upheld the individual mandate as a tax in 2012.
“There is certainly time for the states to take action to provide a state-by-state replacement so that those persons who currently rely upon the Affordable Care Act can have a replacement that is ready.”