After the July 9 oral argument in Texas v. Azar, supporters of the Affordable Care Act (ACA or ObamaCare) worried that the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals might rule the entire Act to be unconstitutional, upholding an earlier decision by District Judge Reed O’Connor.
In an amicus brief supporting the state of Texas and other plaintiffs, AAPS wrote: “It is time to mercifully disconnect the legal life support for ACA. Its contrived justification—the taxation power of the United States—can no longer sustain it. The decision below was entirely correct in ending ACA. Lacking a severability clause, ACA should not be rewritten by the judiciary in a misguided effort to try to save it.”
Concerning the dire consequences predicted by ACA apologists, AAPS stated that “the sky would not fall” in a letter to President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
On the contrary, the harms inflicted on the majority of Americans outweigh the small, extremely costly benefits to some, AAPS contends.
“The continued existence of the law has hampered the Administration’s efforts to allow people to buy affordable coverage that meets their needs, as through short-term, limited-duration plans and association plans. ACA outlaws coverage for catastrophic costs only for persons over age 30, and the expansion of physician-owned hospitals, which offer less costly, higher quality choices….”
“The replacement for ACA command-and-control is freedom. AAPS has presented a 10-point plan for immediately restoring patient freedom and choice plus a white paper that proposes longer-term solutions. Congress should also strongly consider Rep. Chip Roy’s solution to restore patient autonomy, through Healthcare Freedom Accounts, and proposals to devolve responsibility to states, where it constitutionally belongs.”
The problem of pre-existing conditions, exacerbated by ACA, affects only the individual market and can be addressed by means that do not destroy the entire insurance marketplace, AAPS states.
“The best outcome in Texas v. Azar would be for the Court to dismiss the appeal for lack of standing by the Appellants who support ACA. The Executive Branch should not continue to enforce this unconstitutional law, and Congress should not rush to reenact a modified version,” AAPS writes.
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties, founded in 1943. Its motto is “omnia pro aegroto,” or “all for the patient.”