Yesterday, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the Texas v. US case. This is the court case which challenged the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) since the individual mandate penalty was eliminated in the 2017 tax law. Previously, the Supreme Court had held that the ACA was constitutional under the taxing authority given to Congress. As there was no longer a tax, Texas and other states argued that the ACA no longer passed the constitutional test which the Supreme Court had previously used. A year ago, a District Judge in Texas agreed with this rationale and ruled that the ACA was unconstitutional.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has accepted the argument on the individual mandate but sent the case back to the District Court to determine whether this finding ruled the entire law unconstitutional or if only parts of it were. Currently, the case is scheduled to go back to the District Court. However, some of the states which had argued in favor of the ACA have indicated that they will petition the Supreme Court to take the case up. At this point, it is unclear whether that will happen.
It is important to know that this case will have no legal affect on the ACA marketplace while the case continues either at the District Court or Supreme Court. Consumers should be made aware that if they enrolled for coverage through the marketplace during OE7 that their coverage and the tax credits will still be valid starting January 1, 2020.