States' Credit Quality Threatened by Obamacare Ruling, S&P Says

Obamacare ruled unconstitutional by U.S. federal judge in Texas

Obamacare ruled unconstitutional by U.S. federal judge in Texas

"When House Democrats take the gavel, the House of Representatives will move swiftly to formally intervene in the appeals process to uphold the life-saving protections for people with pre-existing conditions and reject Republicans' effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act", said Pelosi in a statement issued to the press. Millions of people now rely on ObamaCare's subsidies and rules, which argues against judges repealing the law by fiat. Leerink analyst Ana Gupte expects the judge's decision will be overturned either by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals next year or the Supreme Court in 2020.

The landmark health care law does remain in effect for now, despite a ruling Friday in Texas that said that its individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law therefore can not stand. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ACA in 2012 because it included an individual mandate - or a tax penalty for Americans who did not buy health insurance.

The ACA required that all individuals have health insurance or pay a tax and also included payments worth billions of dollars to health insurers to subsidize insurance for low-income Americans. Any noncompliance with the law may be challenged in other courts. "Today's misguided ruling will not deter us: our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and well-being of all Americans", said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading a coalition of states defending the ACA.

Judge O'Connor agreed. He said further that the law and its mandate could not be separated, and with this key part missing, the whole law should collapse, like a pillar of blocks in the game Jenga. But numerous Republicans, both during the debate on the vote on the tax law and since, have made it clear that was not what they did. An earlier appellate court decision, involving a number of the states in this case, invalidated the individual mandate but held the entire remainder of the ACA to be valid.

The White House applauded O'Connor's ruling, but said the law remains in place while appeals proceed. "In the short run, this decision will be stayed pending appeals".

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Last year, Republicans - while attempting to repeal ObamaCare - ended up getting rid of the penalty.

Thus, the ACA's insurance access and coverage requirements, protection for individuals with preexisting conditions, and provisions addressing the Medicare and Medicaid programs-including those governing Medicaid expansion-remain active and enforceable while the litigation progresses through the appeal process.

Once the mandate tax was removed, "there's no longer a constitutional basis for Obamacare".

Most legal experts do not believe the Supreme Court would ultimately strike down the entire law, but the uncertainty could pressure stocks in the near term, brokerage Oppenheimer said.

"In the interim, it provides Congress with a real opportunity recognizing that Obamacare is on life support to pull together and make a determination of the things that we need to do to provide sufficient healthcare for all Americans including pre-existing conditions", he said, after show host Steve Doocy complained his own daughter has deductibles on her own Obamacare plan that are too hard to meet.

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