The Fate Of Obamacare Rests In The Hands Of A Texas-Based Federal Judge

This week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune

By Rhonda Fanning & Michael MarksAugust 10, 2018 2:58 pm, , ,

It’s time to check in with the week that was in Texas Politics with Texas Tribune breaking news and civil courts reporter Emma Platoff.

Texas sued the federal government in February to end Obamacare. Last week, the federal judge hearing the case set a deadline for all parties in the case to submit their arguments. Experts predict a decision within a few months.  

Platoff explains that Texas is arguing that the individual mandate – the part of Obamacare that requires those who don’t have health insurace to pay a penalty – is unconstitutional. Texas’ adversary is a coalition of 16 states and the District of Columbia. California, which leads this coalition, says that the mandate is not unconstitutional. But the state also claims that even if it were, the rest of the law should still stand.

“There’s this question that lawyers call severability. ‘Can you take apart this law so that if one piece falls the rest can stay?’, ” Platoff says.

The most closely watched Texas contest in the 2018 midterm elections is the senate race, between Senator Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

O’Rourke has performed better than expected in polls and in fundraising. Platoff says she believes the fundraising could have helped his race. Because of O’Rourke’s popularity, Cruz said he was worried about this race.

“It’s interesting to hear a Republican running statewide in Texas saying he has a real race, that he’s worried about a race against a Democrat,” Platoff says.

By Manu Schneider.

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.