The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) has written a letter to President Trump, commending his decision not to defend the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The decision of federal district Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas v. United States is on appeal in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Judge O’Connor ruled that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, which zeroed out ACA’s “shared responsibility payment,” had removed the tax that the U.S. Supreme Court found to be the basis for the constitutionality of the Act in the NFIBcase. Reasoning that ACA would not have been enacted and could not stand without the individual mandate, Judge O’Connor ruled the entire Act to be unconstitutional.
“The architects of ACA knew that the costly federal mandates would make insurance unaffordable for ordinary Americans, and low-risk individuals would decline to buy it,” states AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D. “Therefore, it was believed necessary to compel people to buy the product.”
“ACA is a titanic violation of Americans’ rights to choose their medical care and the means of paying for it. It destroyed true medical insurance, and forced ordinary Americans to overpay for costly, federally approved ‘health plans,’ or be uninsured and pay an extra tax,” she continued.
“The extra tax was the constitutionality fig leaf. Its removal exposes the naked unconstitutional power grab that benefits ACA’s winning stakeholders, such as big health systems, Medicaid managed-care contractors, and purveyors of compliance and government-certified information technology products.”
AAPS will file an amicus brief supporting appellees. The American Medical Association and some other organized medical groups are supporting intervenors-appellants.
In a recent White Paper, AAPS writes: “American medicine is at a crossroads. It can continue on the path that leads from Medicare to ACA to a fully closed, coercive system, or it can allow freedom-loving Americans to build a private sphere with government confined to its constitutional role.”
The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons is published by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.
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