Judge rules House Democrats can intervene in ACA suit

A federal judge ruled Feb. 14 that House Democrats will be able to intervene in a lawsuit that seeks to undo the ACA, according to The Hill.

The 20-state lawsuit, Texas v. United States, claims the ACA's individual mandate is unconstitutional because the tax law signed by President Donald Trump in December 2017 eliminates the penalty associated with the mandate, and the mandate is not severable from the rest of the health law.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor sided with the states in his Dec. 14 ruling.

The U. S. Justice Department said it would not defend major provisions of the ACA, including the individual mandate and provisions guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Subsequently, 16 states and the District of Columbia received permission to intervene in the case and defend the health law.

This week's ruling from Judge Leslie Southwick, on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, allows the House to also intervene, according to The Hill. However, Judge Southwick declined to expedite an appeal of Judge O'Connor's ruling.

 

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