U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, speaking to the Women’s March attendees at the Iowa State Capitol on January 18, 2019.
Photo Credit: Phil Roeder (CC-By-2.0)

Congress had already zeroed out the penalty for the individual mandate for Obamacare. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a ruling in federal district court that found the individual mandate to be unconstitutional.

In Texas v. Azar, the court ruled that since the individual mandate no longer has a penalty which the Supreme Court ruled was constitutional calling it a tax and said Congress had the constitutional authority to levy taxes.

The court explained that in the original Obamacare Supreme Court ruling “(a) majority of the court … concluded that the individual mandate is not constitutional under either the Interstate Commerce Clause or the Necessary and Proper Clause.”

“Now that the shared responsibility payment amount is set at zero, the provision’s saving construction is no longer available.  The … attributes that once saved the statute because it could be read as a tax no longer exist,” the opinion reads.

Considering the penalty is zeroed out it doesn’t really change much, but U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Iowa, condemned the decision.

“Yesterday’s ruling by the Fifth Circuit is disastrous for Iowa. By continuing down a path that could lead to completely undoing the Affordable Care Act, this decision not only risks raising premiums in the short term, but it could also eliminate protections for the 1.2 million Iowans living with pre-existing conditions, undo Medicaid expansion, and send health care costs skyrocketing across our country,” she said.

“This campaign to undermine and eliminate health care coverage for Iowans has gone on too long. Since I’ve come to Congress, I’ve voted to lower prescription drug costs, protect those living with pre-existing conditions from losing their coverage, and supported legislation to improve care for seniors and children. We must focus on lowering costs and expanding access to health care, not eliminating coverage,” Axne added.

The individual mandate was always on shaky constitutional ground. What the ruling didn’t do, and what Texas and the coalition of states joining them hoped it would do, was render Obamacare in its entirety unconstitutional.

It will be interesting to see if the Supreme Court takes this up. She’s not wrong, however, this could lead to Obamacare’s “undoing.” I just disagree that is a bad thing.

3 comments
  1. Good. The cost of Obamacare on individuals who pay out of pocket is crippling. My premiums have tripled. I even heard a story on NPR a year or two ago where an elderly woman in a fixed income in New York State was lamenting the $25,000+ premiums she is forced to come up with every year and how she can’t afford it, how she just received a notice that premiums were increasing, pleading for someone to do something to fix this. How about if they didn’t cause this catastrophe in the first place?!

  2. Could she be any more ignorant of economics? Everything the government runs turns into a disaster. Obamacare caused skyrocketing prices, created shortages of insurance options, and relied on force. Come to think of it, everything the Democrats propose involves force. They want to run our lives from cradle to grave. I don’t care who Axne’s opponent is (although I’m hoping for a true conservative rather than David Young), I will work hard to see he or she is elected and Axne is sent home. She lied to Iowans about being an independent voice, and votes exactly how Pelosi tells her to vote.

  3. Axne is nothing more than another mouth piece for Pelosi and the libs in the House. She’s a disaster but gladly voted to impeach Trump who’s trying to clean up Obummer’s mess. Oh ya, Biden’s running on keeping this piece of garbage – “you can keep your Dr.” same ole’ line. Are we that stupid to fall for that one again? I will admit there are those that really are that nieve. God help us all.

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