On December 14, 2018 the Affordable Care Act (ACA) could be eliminated on the grounds that the Individual mandate was unconstitutional. Federal district court judge for the Northern District of Texas issued a ruling to strike down the Affordable Care Act. This is being fueled by 20 states and two individuals who filed a lawsuit earlier this year.
In 2017, there was a mandate to eliminate the penalty on individuals that failed to purchase health insurance. I supported this decision as I feel penalizing a person for not carrying health insurance is unconstitutional. Many individuals and families struggle to afford health insurance due to the increasing costs per month to maintain health insurance. The average, for an individual, to obtain health insurance is $393 per month. The average, for a family, to obtain health insurance is $1,021 per month.
The Supreme Court ruled that Congress lacked the power to mandate individuals to obtain health insurance,but that it could constitutionally impose a tax if a person failed to carry health insurance. The plaintiffs in this case argued that the Individual mandate could no longer be justified as a valid exercise of Congress’ taxing authority.
If a decision is made to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety it’s highly likely to be appealed. Many legal experts expect the case to make its way to the Supreme Court regardless of the decision at the Circuit Court. The White House has indicated it will not enforce the ruling during the appeals process. Seema Verma (CMS Administrator) recently tweeted that the decision will have “no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan.”
Many individuals who can’t afford health insurance today will support the ruling that the ACA, should be eliminated in its entirety. Health insurance is very costly, and our Government needs to come up with a plan to make health insurance more affordable to individuals and families. The United States ranks 37th of the World’s 100 Best Health Systems.