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ACA Ruling Brings Renewed Confusion

The ruling came out of the most recent challenge to the ACA, brought by nearly 20 state attorneys general from red states.
ACA Ruling Brings Renewed Confusion
December 18, 2018

A ruling last Friday by a federal judge in Texas striking down the Affordable Care Act has injected a powerful wave of uncertainty into the U.S. health-care system. It also poses a political risk for Republicans. The ruling came out of the most recent challenge to the ACA, brought by nearly 20 state attorneys general from red states. But polls show the number-one issue in the midterm elections which saw Democrats gain control of the House from the GOP was public support for the ACA’s ban on insurance companies refusing to cover people with preexisting medical conditions.

While the ruling by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor invalidated the law, it did not enjoin any of its provisions. The Trump administration immediately announced that the law the president sought to dismantle would stay in place for now.

For the insurance industry, the ruling brings new confusion just as years of political turmoil, major insurers withdrawing from marketplaces and spiking rates had finally given way to some sort of stability. Matt Eyles, president and chief executive officer America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), questioned the wisdom of the court’s judgment.

“The district court’s decision is misguided and wrong,” Eyles, said in a statement.

“This year we got back to some semblance of normal,” said Kristine Grow, spokeswoman for AHIP. Despite the ruling, “nothing is changing with the law today. We are going to continue business as usual,” she said. It is expected that the ruling will be challenged in federal appeals courts and ultimately end up before the U.S. Supreme Court.

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