Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John D. Doak is praising the ruling by a federal judge that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. Judge Reed C. O’Connor said the tax bill passed by Congress in Dec. 2017 effectively rendered the entire health law unconstitutional because it eliminated the penalty for not having insurance. O’Connor, judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, ruled that without that penalty, the law was no longer valid.
“I applaud the decision by Judge O’Connor to rule that the ACA is unconstitutional,” said Doak. “It offers an opportunity to refocus efforts on choice, affordability and consumer protections, elements that have been absent in the marketplace since the inception of the ACA. Whether the ruling is upheld through the appellate process or not, it is now time to apply sensible free market alternatives and fix the ACA problems legislatively. Part of this strategy should be the promotion of consumer alternatives such as association health plans and short-term limited duration plans.”
The administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees federal insurance exchanges, said the ruling will have no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan. An appeal is expected in the case which will likely end up in the Supreme Court.