Attorney says his clients vindicated by ObamaCare ruling

Thursday, December 19, 2019
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Judge banging gavel 2A federal appeals court has ruled the “individual mandate” in ObamaCare is unlawful and an attorney representing people hurt by the controversial law is celebrating the decision.

The 2-1 ruling came from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals which agreed with a 2018 federal court ruling that the insurance requirement was rendered unconstitutional after Congress reduced the tax penalty on Americans to zero, The Associated Press reported.

Brase: Ruling fails to touch other ObamaCare problems

A longtime critic of ObamaCare says a federal court ruling against the “individual mandate” failed to address other lingering issues even after addressing that one.  

Twila Brase of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom says the ruling did not got far enough because it left open “huge question” over severability, a legal term for a contract in which a portion of it -- but not all -- is ruled invalid or illegal.

Brase, a registered nurse, pored over ObamaCare as the legislation was being drafted and has been a vocal critic about its affect on health care and the free market ever since.  

"There's nothing within the law,” she tells OneNewsNow, “that says that any part of it can be severed, and so the court should have ruled that the entire law had to be taken down as a result of finding the individual mandate unconstitutional.”

The individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act required virtually everyone living in the United States to have some form of health coverage, or pay a tax penalty, and the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the demand in a 5-4 ruling in 2012.

In 2017, however, President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which zeroed out the individual mandate penalty. Based on that allowance, legal observers insisted ObamaCare no longer had a leg to stand on in court.

Henneke

"I'm excited for my clients," says Robert Henneke, lead counsel for the individual plaintiffs and general counsel for the Texas Public Policy Foundation. "This is a monumental victory that affirms the arguments that we won on at the trial court."

That would be the U.S. District Court in Forth Worth, which was reviewed the New Orleans-based 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. 

"The federal government cannot compel people to buy bad ObamaCare insurance," says Henneke. "The court also affirmed that the Affordable Act Act continues to injure my clients as well as the states that joined with us to challenge this unconstitutional law."

Who are Henneke's clients?

"My clients are two individuals, self-employed business people who under the Affordable Care Act were commanded to purchase health insurance that they did not want because it did not meet their needs," answers Henneke.

ObamaCare comment web pageOne of the attorney’s clients, Neill Hurley, endured skyrocketing premiums, his family members lost their choice of doctor, and their health care needs were “rationed” – all because of the Affordable Care Act.

 "So the Fifth Circuit recognized,” says Henneke, “that this was an injury that entitled him to challenge this law in court."

One issue still-to-be-determined is how much of the Affordable Care Act should be struck down as a result of the injury caused to Henneke's clients.

The Fifth Circuit, on that question, remanded the case back to the trial court to give more specific detail on how much of the Affordable Care Act, along with the individual mandate, should be declared unconstitutional and invalidated.

Henneke predicts that defenders of the Affordable Care Act, including the Democratic-controlled U.S. House, will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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