A federal judge appeared to agree with the legal argument used by 20 states to make a case for striking down Obamacare’s pre-existing condition protections during a critical hearing, the Washington Examiner reported.
“U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor presided over the hearing Wednesday in Fort Worth, Texas on the lawsuit brought by Texas and 19 other states. The hearing was on a preliminary injunction to halt federal enforcement of the law while the lawsuit makes its way through the courts. If O’Connor grants it, insurers would no longer be required to include protections for people with pre-existing conditions in Obamacare plans.
“O’Connor did not immediately rule on the lawsuit’s motion for an injunction during the hearing.”
He said that Congress’s intent should be put against the original text of the law that said that the mandate was essential to the rest of Obamacare.
“It does seem for majority of cases, the Supreme Court says to look at the original legislation as enacted,” O’Connor said in Modern Healthcare’s recounting. “Why would I not? Let’s assume I don’t buy the argument it is still a tax and believe the mandate should fall and I get to severability, why wouldn’t I look at those cases?”
Texas’s attorneys argued that the rest of the law should go away too.
The Justice Department declined to defend Obamacare in court and said that it supports the lawsuit but only up to a point. The department believes that the pre-existing condition protections should be struck down in response to the lawsuit, but not the entire law.