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Obamacare Court Case Fuels Fresh Fight on Capitol Hill - What About Pre-Existing Conditions?

07-10-2019
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WASHINGTON, DC – Obamacare was back in court Tuesday facing yet another legal challenge. At issue in the "Texas vs. United States" case is whether a lower court judge acted properly in striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA), declaring the law unconstitutional after Congress ended the "individual mandate".
 
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals appeared sympathetic Tuesday to Republican efforts to overturn Obamacare. They expressed skepticism about Democratic calls to overturn the lower court ruling.
 
The judges focused on whether Obamacare lost its legal justification after President Trump signed a law in 2017 that eliminated the tax penalty – known as the "individual mandate" –  that had enforced Obamacare's mandate that all Americans must buy health insurance. Whatever the court decides, the case could go to the US Supreme Court.
 
As the appeals court heard arguments on the ACA's constitutionality, Democrats on Capitol Hill held a press conference warning what could happen if Obamacare is struck down.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said, "The stakes can't be higher."

Democrat lawmakers held up pictures of Americans positively affected by Obamacare and said Republicans would be to blame if millions of Americans were to lose their health care.

"If Republicans prevail, the protections are obliterated overnight," continued Schumer. "They go home and they say they want to protect pre-existing conditions, and then they act to take them away… they say they want to protect and then do nothing to preserve them."

But on the Senate floor, Republican Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) argued that claim is untrue.
 
"Blaming Republicans in Congress for a yet-to-be-decided court case doesn't make a lot of sense," Cornyn claimed. "If there's one thing that I think there is a consensus on in the health care field in Congress it's the pre-existing conditions should be covered."

Meanwhile, at the Faith and Freedom Coalition's Road to the Majority conference last week, President Donald Trump teased a forthcoming GOP health care plan.
 
"If we win the House back, keep the Senate and keep the presidency, we're going to have a plan that blows away Obamacare," Trump told the crowd. "It'll be less expensive and it'll be far better health insurance and we'll be announcing it over the next month or so."

Many analysts believe if the 5th Circuit upholds Obamacare, the US Supreme Court won't take it up again.

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