A federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, but it stopped short of striking down the entire healthcare law.
Two judges on the three-judge panel at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans decided that the individual mandate is not constitutional because it cannot be construed as a tax. The appellate court remanded the case back to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas to determine whether the rest of the law can be saved.
“The individual mandate is unconstitutional because it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power,” according to the opinion. “On the severability question, we remand to the district court to provide additional analysis of the provisions of the ACA as they currently exist.”