On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor stated his uncertainty on the validity of the individual mandate without holding a tax penalty for the mandate. In the 2017 tax overhaul, Congress had revoked the tax penalty, which penalized individuals who did not have health insurance. Judge O’Connor questioned whether the overhaul of the tax penalty was really protecting consumers.
Judge O’Connor raised the point that in the Supreme Court’s 2012 ruling where the Affordable Care Act was upheld as a tax. According to O’Connor, “If the only saving of the ACA is the Supreme Court’s read of the penalty as a tax, and Congress knew that but zeroed out the penalty knowing that it cannot be upheld as a tax—and Congress is presumed to act with knowledge of the Supreme Court’s rulings, why isn’t that intent?”
Since the Trump Administration attempted to repeal and replace the ACA, Democrats and Republicans have been torn on the issue, with Republicans stating that the ACA regulations have disrupted their health insurance markets on the state-level, while Democrats stood for the ACA and wants to refrain from the pre-ACA environment where people with pre-existing conditions were denied health insurance coverage.
Read the original article from Modern Healthcare here.