Overview

On Dec. 14, 2018, a federal judge ruled in Texas v. Azar that the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) is invalid due to the elimination of the individual mandate penalty in 2019. In response, on March 25, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a letter with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agreeing with the lower court’s ruling. This means that the DOJ believes the lower court’s ruling should stand, and the ACA should be struck down as unconstitutional.

Following the ruling, however, the federal judge issued a stay and partial final judgment in the case. As a result, the ACA will remain in place pending appeal. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also confirmed that it will continue administering and enforcing all aspects of the ACA.

 

Action Steps

This ruling is being appealed and will likely be taken up by the Supreme Court. As a result, a final decision is not expected to be made until that time. However, despite the Administration’s support of the lower court’s ruling invalidating the ACA, the White House has announced that the ACA will continue to remain in place pending appeal.

 

Highlights

  • A federal judge ruled that the entire ACA is invalid due to the elimination of the individual mandate penalty.
  • This ruling will likely be taken up by the Supreme Court.
  • The DOJ issued a letter supporting the lower court’s ruling.
  • The ACA will remain in place pending appeal.

 

Important Dates

  • December 14, 2018 | A federal judge ruled that the entire ACA is invalid due to the elimination of the individual mandate penalty
  • January 1, 2019 | Individuals will no longer be penalized under the ACA for failing to obtain acceptable health insurance coverage

 

Source: © 2018 Zywave, Inc.

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