Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page By Jonathan Gruber December 15, 2018 Late on Friday, a federal judge in Texas ruled in favor of a lawsuit arguing that the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare, was unconstitutional. The theory of this case was that the individual mandate acts an “unseverable” part of the ACA, and so when Republicans repealed the individual mandate penalty as part of their tax cuts in late 2017, it rendered the entire ACA moot.This argument on the face of it may seem to have merit. When the law was passed, the mandate was indeed viewed as central to the ACA by myself and other architects of the sweeping legislation. We described the ACA as a “three- legged stool,” which struck down costly discrimination by health insurers in return for ensuring everyone that participated in the insurance market through a mandate. Compulsory coverage makes the benefit more affordable because the healthy and sick are pooled together.Striking down the mandate penalty undoubtedly weakened the ACA. It has led to some healthy individuals deciding not to buy insurance; instead they have been “free riding” on the system and… Read full this story
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