5th Circuit Gets it Partly Right on ACA, Says AAPS


The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s decision that the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare) is unconstitutional, now that the thin reed supporting it—the taxing power of Congress—has been removed. But it has remanded the issue of severability to the District Court. If the mandate is not severable, the whole Act is unconstitutional.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has stated from the outset that ACA is unconstitutional—in its entirety—because there is no power granted to the federal government to provide medical care or health insurance to all Americans, or to interfere in the state function of regulating insurance by imposing “minimum essential benefits.”

ACA supporters, including the American Medical Association (AMA), appear to disregard considerations about constitutionality, focusing on purportedly good intentions, popularity, and the numbers who have gained coverage—coverage that would be unaffordable, AAPS points out, if current and future taxpayers and insurance subscribers weren’t forced to pay the bill.

What the government “gives” to one group, it must first take. AAPS pointed out in an amicus brief, quoted by the Court, that ACA “has deprived patients nationwide of a competitive market for affordable high-deductible health insurance,” leaving “patients with no alternative to . . . skyrocketing premiums.”

To lower costs and improve availability of excellent care, AAPS has proposed more freedom instead of ACA-style redistribution of costs and resources.            

For further information, see press release, Dec 19, 2019.