DoJ says it won't defend individual mandate, other provisions of Obamacare

While the GOP Congress has failed repeatedly to fully repeal Obamacare, the courts may do most of the work for it.

The Department of Justice announced that it would not defend certain key provisions of the Affordable Care Act in a lawsuit brought by several states against the constitutionality of the law.

DoJ says several parts of the act, including the individual mandate, are unconstitutional and won't defend them in court.


The filing came in a lawsuit brought by the state of Texas and a coalition of other Republican-led states who have filed suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas challenging the constitutionally of the Affordable Care Act.  The states argue that after Congress eliminated the penalty for the individual mandate last year, effective in 2019, it destabilized other sections of the law.

"In its filing the DOJ said that it agrees with Texas that the individual mandate is now unconstitutional and therefore it will not defend key provisions of the law in the suit," said Timothy Jost, of Washington and Lee University School of Law.

In selling Obamacare, the administration and Democrats swore that premiums would go down significantly, as would health care costs.  Neither has proved to be true, and the American people – healthy and sick – find themselves paying a lot more for insurance.

The saga of the individual mandate is well known: declared a "tax" by John Roberts despite the fact that President Obama himself denied that it was a tax, the mandate has been useless in holding down premiums.  The theory was that if everyone was forced to buy insurance, the healthy would be able to subsidize the sick.

As it turns out, there were so many carve-outs and exceptions to the mandate that far more sick people signed up for insurance than healthy people could subsidize.  The results were as so many predicted: a death spiral for Obamacare.

There were always other solutions to getting coverage for sick people who were denied by insurance companies.  There are also free-market solutions to bringing down the cost of premiums and health care.  But Obama and the Democrats were not interested, hence the disaster that is Obamacare.

With the administration refusing to defend these provisions, it is likely that the federal courts will strike them, thus ensuring the death of Obamacare.

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