ACA ruling expected this month: 4 things to know 

A decision on the constitutionality of the ACA "could come as soon as this month," NPR reports. 

Four quick notes on the lawsuit:

1. A panel of three judges heard oral arguments in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals on July 9. The judges were reviewing U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor's ruling in Texas v. United States, in which he declared the ACA unconstitutional.

2. The plaintiffs in the case, 20 Republican-led states, argue that the individual mandate is a tax, and it became unconstitutional when the associated penalty was zeroed out under President Donald Trump's 2017 tax law. The lawsuit also argues that the individual mandate is inseverable from the law, making the entire ACA unconstitutional.  

3. The decision could affect health insurance for millions of Americans and completely upend the healthcare industry. However, if the law is invalidated by the panel of judges, it will not lead to immediate changes, NPR reports. A decision against the ACA is likely to be appealed, sending the case to the Supreme Court. If this does happen, the Trump administration has indicated it would keep the ACA in place until a replacement law is passed, according to The Washington Post

4. The timing of the decision is significant, according to NPR. If the judges rule that the law is unconstitutional, it could lead to mass confusion during open enrollment, which begins Nov. 1.  

Read the full NPR story here


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