Care stocks plunge after federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional

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A federal judge's ruling that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional is nearly certain to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, and the health law could be in peril there. In 2012, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts had cited that power in his decision to cast the deciding vote to uphold the law. He did not, however, issue an injunction, meaning the law can continue to be applied as the appeal process continues.

But Democrats, who have seen the law survive scores of legal and legislative attacks, vowed to fight back, saying the health coverage of millions of Americans is at stake.

"The ruling seems to be based on faulty legal reasoning and hopefully it will be overturned", said a statement from Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). "Our lawsuit seeks to effectively repeal Obamacare, which will give President Trump and Congress the opportunity to replace the failed social experiment with a plan that ensures Texans and all Americans will again have greater choice about what health coverage they need and who will be their doctor".

"We are pleased with the continued positive momentum in our enrollment for 2019", Chairman and CEO Michael F. Neidorff said in the release that acknowledged the court ruling and emphasized the fact that Centene has operated for three decades under five different presidents from both sides of the aisle. All five remain on the court. CNBC reported that Centene shares went down 7.5%; HCA Healthcare, which is the largest for-profit operator of health care facilities in the USA, dipped 5%, and insurance companies Cigna and Humana saw their shares decrease by 4%.

But Republicans, still stinging from their loss of the House in the midterm elections, are facing a fresh political quandary after U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor said the entire 2010 health law was invalid. The decision to invalidate those measures in a case pushed by Republican attorneys general ties the party, politically, to a decision undercutting those promises.

"It's a big ruling, great ruling for our country".

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Sirisena had sacked Wickremesinghe on October 26 and replaced him with Rajapaksa, with the UNP calling the move unconstitutional. It was not immediately clear if the letter had been handed over to to the country's president, Maithripala Sirisena .

"A confirming Supreme Court Decision will lead to GREAT HealthCare results", he said. "It was a big, big victory by a highly respected judge".

"I believe that's the likeliest outcome, because ObamaCare has always been unconstitutional", he asserted. They argued the judge should spare the rest of the law, which includes Medicaid expansion, the employer mandate, health exchanges, premium subsidies and federal health-care reimbursement rates for hospitals.

The court ruling came on the eve of the deadline for people to sign up for ACA coverage for 2019.

HealthCare.gov, the government's site for signing up, was taking applications Saturday, the deadline in most states for enrolling for coverage next year, and those benefits will take effect as scheduled January 1. Sheldon Whitehouse tweeted Saturday. Sign-ups on the federal health insurance marketplace have been low this season, tumbling 11.7 percent from the same time a year ago, according to the latest figures from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. "And they call that success".

"Today's ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA's consumer protections for health care, on America's faithful progress toward affordable health care for all Americans", a spokeswoman for Xavier Becerra, the California attorney general, said in a statement. While the issue mostly played to the advantage of Democrats, one of the Republican plaintiffs, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, defeated Democratic incumbent Sen. But with that "tax" - or penalty - having been removed starting next year, Republicans challenging the law in this case argued the program is now illegal.

The ruling, if affirmed, would have a major impact on the healthcare sector and the overhang alone could trigger widespread selling across the sector, Oppenheimer analyst Michael Wiederhorn said.

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