Another unexpected threat to the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, came in the form of a federal appeals court, which asked if Democratic states and the House of Representatives have the right to defend the healthcare law in a lawsuit, Politico reported.
The lawsuit, which was launched by Republican-led states and state attorneys general last year, led one federal judge to declare the ACA unconstitutional. The case is now in the appeals process, with Democratic states and Congressmen taking the lead on the defense after the Trump administration’s Department of Justice took the extraordinary step of not defending the law.
Now, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is questioning whether those states and leader have the right to appeal the case at all. According to Politico, the request comes from one of the most conservative circuit courts in the U.S. In the argument is accepted and judges who hear the appeal toss it out on procedural grounds, the first court’s ruling of overthrowing the law would stand.
The ACA has remained the law of the land during the appeals process. Overturning the law would repeal many of the protections for those with pre-existing conditions, affecting as many as 100 million Americans, according to one study. It would also immediately upset the American healthcare system that has been transitioning to value-based care since the law was passed in 2010.
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