California to appeal ObamaCare ruling to Supreme Court


California Attorney General Xavier Becerra (D) will ask the Supreme Court to take up a controversial case that will determine the future of ObamaCare. 

His comments followed a federal appeals court ruling that ObamaCare’s individual mandate is unconstitutional. But the court punted on the larger question of what it means for the rest of the health law, sending the case back to a lower court, further prolonging legal proceedings. 

“The best way to get certainty is to go to the Supreme Court,” said Becerra, who is leading a coalition of Democratic attorneys general in defending the law. 

“We will move swiftly to challenge this decision and seek certification because this could mean the difference between life and death for so many Americans and their families,” he added. 

In 2018, District Judge Reed O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, ruled in a case brought by Republican attorneys general that the entire law was invalid because Congress eliminated ObamaCare’s individual mandate penalty for not having health insurance.

Becerra appealed the decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled Wednesday that the individual mandate is unconstitutional but asked O’Connor to determine which other parts of the law can stand or fall. 

O’Connor’s decision could take months, and it would likely also be appealed. 

If the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case, it would end the uncertainty created by the lawsuit and the court’s decision Wednesday, Becerra said. 

The decision, he said, “has created real and long-term uncertainty for all Americans, but certainly those who have used the essential benefits of the Affordable Care Act to cover themselves and their family.”

Updated at 7:21 p.m.

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