- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sen. Susan Collins said Sunday the federal court ruling that held Obamacare unconstitutional will likely be overturned on appeal.

The Maine Republican told CNN the federal court decision, issued Friday evening, should not impact people who have enrolled in healthcare policies in 2019.

“I think this will be overturned on appeal,” Ms. Collins said. “There is no reason why the individual mandate can’t be struck down and keep all the good provisions of the Affordable Care Act.”

She said there is widespread support to protect people with preexisting conditions, improve mental health coverage and also keep children on their parents health care through age 26.

Her comments come after a federal judge in Texas said the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was illegal after Congress did away with the tax penalty for those who did not have healthcare coverage through the individual mandate.

The Supreme Court previously upheld the healthcare law as constitutional, citing Congress’s taxing power.

But since lawmakers did away with the penalty in their tax reform legislation earlier this year, the judge said the healthcare law could no longer be legal according to the high court’s 2012 ruling.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer went a step further than Ms. Collins on Sunday, calling for the Senate to take a vote to urge intervention in the case.

“A lot of this depends on Congressional intent, and if a majority of the House, and a majority of the Senate say that this case should be overturned it will have a tremendous effect on the appeal,” the New York Democrat told NBC.

But Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, wasn’t too keen on lawmakers attempting to sway the higher court on how to handle the appeal. Instead, he said it presents an opportunity for them to revisit and debate the health care law.

He also ruled out implementing a low tax in order to satisfy the judge’s ruling.

“I think a tax was always a stretch… coming up with a one cent gimmick would not have much appeal to me,” he told NBC.

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