JUDGE

How Does Obamacare Ruling Affect Massachusetts?

More than 300,000 people in Massachusetts have access to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act

A federal judge's ruling that the Obama health law is unconstitutional has healthcare advocates fearing millions of people are now at risk, including 300,000 people in Massachusetts who have access to healthcare through the Affordable Care Act.

Nationwide that number jumps to 20 million Americans.

Of the Texas judge's decision, Congressman Seth Moulton said, “People need to understand that this is why the Washington Republican agenda is just so dangerous for Americans.”

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MIT Professor Jonathan Gruber, a key advisor on Obamacare, says the decision is bad for the health of the country and the health of the democracy in addition to not being accurate.

“Removing the individual mandate has clearly weakened the law," he said, "but the notion that it’s killed the law is just plain wrong.”

Gruber says no one should panic that they’re going to lose their health coverage anytime soon.

He says Medicare expansions are unaffected by the individual mandate and they cover most of the people adding, “So really, the people who suffer from the individual mandate going away are sort of non-low income people who now face very high premiums they have to pay. And they will drop out. And they have.”

Healthcare advocates are confident the outcry against this decision will be a loud one based on the popularity of key aspects of Obamacare like pre-existing conditions, being able to stay on your parents' health plan until age 26 and caps on out-of-pocket spending.

“All that’s the entirety of the affordable healthcare act," Gruber said. "That would all go away.”

Gruber says the decision will go to the Appeals court and possibly on to the Supreme Court so that nothing would happen to affect Obamacare coverage until June 2020.

Many are hopeful the ruling will be thrown out long before that.

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