Texas Border Business
A federal appeals court has ruled the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate unconstitutional, in a win for Republican-led states attempting to kill the Obama-era law, but sent back the question of whether the mandate is severable from the law to the district court.
The ruling by the three-judge panel of two Republican and one Democratic appointee came down along party lines.
“The individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax,” they wrote. But they added, “on the severability question we remand to the district court to provide additional analysis.”
Before landing at the appeals court, Judge Reed O’Connor in December 2018 ruled the individual mandate was unconstitutional and “inseverable” from the law as a whole, striking down the ACA. Texas and 17 other red states filed suit in 2018, alleging that the ACA is unconstitutional after the individual mandate was zeroed out in a subsequent federal tax law. The states also argued the mandate could not be untangled from the rest of the law, essentially arguing that if the individual mandate is unconstitutional so, too, is the law in its entirety.
The case is nearly sure to wind up eventually at the Supreme Court with the potential to throw chaos into the insurance markets.