Obamacare still law of land despite US court ruling striking it down
The five justices who voted to uphold the constitutionality of the law in 2012 are still on the Supreme Court, but debates over the ruling linger. While the court maintained the law, it struck down the government’s argument defending Obamacare based on the federal government’s authority to regulate interstate commerce. Instead, in a ruling that took the legal community by surprise, chief justice John Roberts wrote that the individual mandate was permissible as a tax.
Several Wall Street analysts and health policy researchers said Monday they expect the Friday ruling to be overturned should it get to the Supreme Court, citing the decision that upheld Obamacare in a narrowly divided 2012 ruling. Should the law be struck down, Congress would have to come up with a replacement.
The ruling on Friday came hours before the ACA’s last day to enroll in a health plan for next year. Shortly after the decision, Medicare chief Seema Verma said in a tweet that ACA exchanges were still open for business and the agency will continue with open enrollment, which ended Saturday in most states.
“There is no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan,” Verma said. “The recent federal court decision is still moving through the courts.”
Obama also took to social media, warning consumers not be scared away by headlines of the health law being struck down.
“It’s so important for you to know that last night’s ruling changes nothing for now,” Obama said in a Facebook post. “As this decision makes its way through the courts, which will take months, if not years, the law remains in place and will likely stay that way.”