A federal judge in Texas made a ruling related to the Affordable Care Act that may have far reaching consequences. The ruling was simple. It stated that the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare or the healthcare law, is unconstitutional due to federal tax law changes.
What does this Ruling Mean for Obamacare Families?
Before people begin to panic about their healthcare coverage, it’s important to understand a few key items related to the Texas judge’s ruling. First, he issued an immediate stay on his ruling fully expecting this law to wind its way to the U.S. Supreme Court through the appeals process.
That means that the Affordable Care Act hasn’t been officially repealed and those who have insurance through the ACA can, for the moment, keep their insurance. It means that insurance will continue to pay for patient visits, prescription medications, and covered medical supplies and equipment.
However, should the striking down of the law stand and be upheld all the way to the supreme court, families and individuals may expect to see big changes in their futures when it comes to healthcare and health insurance.
Much of this will depend on provisions made to ease the transition for people who have chronic health conditions and currently rely on Obamacare to help cover some of the costs of their healthcare needs.
While Republicans in Washington feel confident that the law will be fully repealed once it reaches the Supreme Court, there is plenty of opposition in place and there is no certainty about how the court will rule in this matter once the tax question is eliminated from debate.
Why is This Ruling so Important?
Current estimates are that somewhere between 10 and 15 million Americans benefit from the Affordable Care Act either by having the option to purchase affordable health insurance without having pre-existing conditions excluded from coverage or by receiving subsidies to help them pay for their health care coverage.
Those people, especially those continuing to receive discounted health insurance, stand to lose their existing coverage and be left to fend for themselves in an insurance marketplace that explicitly denies coverage for pre-existing conditions or priced out of health insurance altogether without the subsidies that make it affordable for lower income earners.
The better you understand the ruling that was made in Texas and how it could effect your health insurance options down the road, the better prepared you can be when the time comes.