Rich Pedroncelli AP FILE
Attorney General Xavier Becerra speaks at the podium during a news conference in Sacramento Calif
10 July, 2019, 04:25
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments beginning on Tuesday over the latest legal challenge against the landmark legislation, which expands insurance access to millions while mandating every American gets health insurance or pays a tax.
Murphy says he is most concerned that if the lower court ruling in the Texas case is upheld and the health law struck down, Republicans "won't be able to come up with a plan" to put the health care system back together.
"The 20 million people that it would affect the most are those enrolled under Obamacare's Medicaid Expansion, who are low income people or people who buy their health insurance from the Affordable Care Act exchanges", Leonard said.
Former US president Barack Obama's signature healthcare law, which has insured tens of millions of Americans, went before a federal appeals court Tuesday in a high-stakes case whose outcome could play a major role in the 2020 presidential campaign.
Since the administration is not defending the law, Democratic attorneys general and members of the House are leading the appeal. The rest of the law should stay, the Justice Department argued.
The law's supporters say it remains constitutional, despite the tax change.
In December, a Texas-based federal judge agreed with the lawsuit, filed by a coalition of 18 Republican-leaning states with some backing from the Trump administration. Judge Jennifer Elrod, who was appointed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals by Republican President George W. Bush, asked attorneys for the Democratic officials defending the law during a hearing.
Engelhardt, the Trump appointee, primarily grilled attorneys representing California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a score of other Democratic-led states andthe Democratic House. Engelhardt also pointedly suggested that the question of whether each piece of the law should survive shouldn't be answered by the judiciary but by Congress.
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The case could eventually reach the Supreme Court, where conservative justices have previously rejected the argument that Congress could require everyone to buy insurance under the Constitution's interstate commerce clause. With no fine for those who refuse to buy insurance, they argued that the mandate is now unconstitutional, and since it's a central part of the law, so is the entire ACA.
Letter countered that the House can not "fix" the problem on its own, saying the Senate and Trump must also sign on - which they "obviously" would not - eliciting snickers in the courtroom. But Chief Justice John Roberts, joining four liberal justices, said Congress did have the power to impose a tax on those without insurance.
The government said in March that a total of 11.4 million people signed up during open enrollment season, a dip of about 300,000 from a year ago. King was nominated to the appeals court by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), holding a picture of head-injury victim Emilie Saltzman, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) lead fellow congressional Democrats for remarks on health care coverage of pre-existing conditions, on the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. July 9, 2019.
That could mean that insurance protections - including the ban on insurance companies denying coverage to people with preexisting medical conditions - could disappear in Texas, but remain in California.
Obamacare, formally called the Affordable Care Act, was one of the most consequential healthcare measures in United States history.
Democratic leaders in both the Senate and the House on Tuesday warned their Republican colleagues of the costs - both political and financial - the loss of the popular ObamaCare would incur.