‘After two years of brutal attacks on health care … we’re not giving Republicans anywhere to hide…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) The Democrat-controlled House will vote next week on whether to intervene in a GOP-led lawsuit against Obamacare in an attempt to protect the Obama-era health care legislation from a Texas federal judge’s ruling that it is unconstitutional.
A spokesman for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who will likely be elected Speaker of the House, said the House will vote next week on whether it should formally defend Obamacare in court.
Democrats who attempted to stoke fears over an Obamacare repeal in the 2018 midterm campaigns—prior to district judge Reed O’Connor’s December ruling—still hope to portray Republicans as heartless officials who want to strip citizens of their “rights,” according to Pelosi’s spokesman.
House Democrats, who view the ACA as a signature achievement of former president Barack Obama, want to seize the lawsuit as an opportunity to strike back and force Republicans to go on the record about health care as they gear up for the 2020 presidential campaign.
“After two years of brutal attacks on health care and desperate GOP misrepresentations on the campaign trail, we’re not giving Republicans anywhere to hide,” Pelosi spokesman Henry Connelly said, according to The Hill.
“Republicans who survived the election on their tardy promises to protect pre-existing conditions will have to explain why they have once again been complicit in trying to strike down those life-saving protections.”
The lawsuit in question, known as Texas v. Azar, was filed by 20 GOP-led states who want to overturn Obama’s Affordable Care Act and its unconstitutional requirements.
O’Connor’s ruling said that since a 2017 tax overhaul eliminated the penalty for those who did not have insurance, Obamacare could not be considered a tax—a technicality that formed the basis of an earlier Supreme Court ruling upholding it.
Just this week, however, the judge stayed his ruling to allow for appeals, which means the ACA remains in effect while the litigation continues. His ruling would invalidate the entire law and cause “many everyday Americans” to “face great uncertainty,” Judge Reed O’Connor wrote.
The appeals process is widely expected to take at least a year. The current case may go before the high court again, with Chief Justice John Roberts once again likely to cast the pivotal swing vote. Roberts wrote the previous ruling to uphold Obamacare, using as his basis an opinion from then-D.C. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh.