A ruling against Obamacare - or how Republicans insist on ignoring their voters
A Republican-appointed federal judge has ruled that the health care law known as Obamacare is unconstitutional, only a month after millions of Americans voted in favor of better health protections.
Obamacare is once again at the center of political debate in the country.
While the media had its plate full with the Special Counsel investigation being led by Robert Mueller, and the constant news surrounding the Trump Organization, the ruling by a Republican federal judge in Texas against Obamacare has shown that what really matters in U.S. politics is what happens behind the scenes.
District Judge Reed O'Connor ruled against the Affordable Care Act, determining that "the entire 2010 health law was invalid," NBC reported. O'Connor's ruling follows a lawsuit filed this year by a group of Republican governors and Texas attorneys general that attracted little attention amid the midterm primary elections.
According to the New York Times, while Democrats promised to "appeal the decision," the ruling won't have "any immediate effect." But, it will "almost certainly make its way to the Supreme Court, "threatening the survival of the landmark health law and, with it, health coverage for millions of Americans, protections for people with pre-existing conditions and much more."
O'Connor argued that "the individual mandate that requires people to have health insurance can no longer be sustained as an exercise of the fiscal power of Congress" which makes it "unconstitutional."
In other words, this is effectively a legal mismatch between two different procedures.
While Obamacare compelled people to get some kind of medical coverage, President Trump's tax reform reduced the medical insurance penalty to zero dollars, which would make the so-called "individual mandate" unconstitutional.
Almost immediately, states such as California declared their intention to appeal the decision of the District Court, and within the political parties, the debate has escalated proportionally.
The office of California's Attorney General, Xavier Becerra, stated that O'Connor's ruling "is an assault on 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions," and that Obamacare "has already survived more than 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts and withstood scrutiny in the Supreme Court."
In the face of celebrations by President Trump on Twitter, and others who shared the sentiment, Republicans such as Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) warned that the sentence was "too radical."
Collins said in a television show that the federal judge "could have taken a much more surgical approach and just struck down the individual mandate and kept the rest of the law intact."
For the president's party, this ruling only worsens the situation.
Instead of celebrating, the president should worry about Congress getting a substitute program or an alternative that assures Americans their first needs will be covered, as they so urgently asked for during the midterm elections.
When choosing their new representatives, the majority of voters said that "the number one concern is to get a political leader who wants (and ultimately succeeds) to design a plan that keeps the parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that work, and fix the parts that don't."
This concern helped give the Democrats a broad victory in Congress, and it showed that Republicans have no idea what their voters really want.
Meanwhile, as former President Barack Obama explained in a Facebook post, "as this decision makes its way through the courts, which will take months, if not years, the law remains in pace and will likely stay that way."