Judge strikes down Obamacare

The judge's decision declared the individual mandate requiring all Americans to buy health insurance is "unconstitutional." The ruling is expected to be challenged.
5:38 | 12/17/18

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Transcript for Judge strikes down Obamacare
So lots on pack a lot at stake let's bring in Jonathan Gruber he was one of the architects. Of Romney care Massachusetts in 2006 also one of the advisors in the Obama administration 2010 when they wrote. The Affordable Care Act Jonathan Gruber how professor of economics and MIT thanks so much Jeff for coming on the briefing her. My pleasure. So what a start. Jonathan with with just your take on what's at stake here so many people today's from scratching their heads. Sane and not where he went through this with the court's. But if this is struck down what would it mean for our health care as Americans. Let's start in the short run what's at stake. Right now today is nothing nothing is changed the earliest anything would change would be the spring of 20/20 one Supreme Court might take this decision. However if they decide to strike this down what's at risk is enormous both for individual health and the help of our democracy. When my that for individual health is that the EC goes away that means seventeen million people lose health insurance. That means the 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions can now be denied insurance because those conditions. That means that those under each 26 no longer in health insurance on their parents' plan. That means there's no more capsule you have to pay out of pocket a year of health insurance this a broad reaching law which is fundamentally changed US health care. And what's crazy about this decision is the notion that. In some sense because as one piece is taken away the whole wall has come down and the reason that's crazy and I'm not alone on this is what legal experts are saying. Is because congress has spoken. Congress had the chance repeal this law they didn't they instead just took Kuwaiti individual mandate penalty so congress has said the law can exist let the penalty. This judge essentially saying I don't like what congress said on decide differently. And that is why the legal experts including the lawyers who brought the previous cases the Supreme Court say is a ridiculous abuse of judicial power. Let's unpack that a little bitch on them because at one point as we said you're one of the champions of the individual mandate you yes. You've called it essential in many who read many ways inseparable from the rest of the law so we can avoid the free rider problem people without insurance benefiting. From everybody else but now we years your sort of telling us a different to work with this analysis you're saying the law can stand it can work. Without the individual mandate. Well first what Harrison the word inseparable slowed compared but it was essential that it was actually essential ideas essentially experts fear is essential and I think. It is important the law is weaker without the mandate. I think what quite frankly got a bit wrong. Is that the rest of the law is stronger than we thought without the mandate in Massachusetts this lawless based on the mandate was essential. And that mandate was successful federally the mandates never really been accepted the national level the way it was in Massachusetts. At the federal level much more of the law was supported by the Medicaid expansions which really have nothing to do with the mandate. Which through which about two thirds of individuals and gain coverage. And second of all the tax up to the federal level have been sufficiently generous. The individuals have wanted insurance coverage even if it's not mean the aid. And look at the end of they have to respect the evidence and the evidence is we took away the individual mandate and the law didn't collapse. We take away the individual mandate and enrollment fell. Premiums went up so was a bad thing to take it away but the law did not collapse and you know I I think you we can all our preconceived notions but the and we have to respect. A evidence. And John makes a great point that this was an act of judicial activism the elected Democrat who represented Democrat are probably means that there were elected represented. As the people's that we can do this we can take this this tax at a and it will stand. But that does raise the question Jonathan's Terry Moran where you'd we did. He did touch on it what do you expect to happen is this yet another it it's like death by a thousand cuts with the Republicans right they. In the states they don't adopted provisions that their markets aren't aren't operative in some states where the governor's wouldn't wouldn't put them in place and now this. Is this loss staggering along in what will the absence even if the court says some of the law can stand but we can take. Arrest in and out what would happen. So basically look. The law is currently less effective in his written. It's less effective and is written for a couple of reasons first of all the law includes the right for states with federal government paying fort. To expand their Medicaid program to lowest income citizens unbelievably. About seventeen states is still refuse to accept money from other states so they can provide interest or low sickened citizens that's costing us coverage. The trump administration has inject enormous uncertainty into the exchange markets they still exists in every state he said they did they do exist in every state that still functional understate. But trainers are higher because the uncertain has been injecting so the law is not working as designed but it's still better than what we had before. We're still in a world most importantly I cannot emphasize this enough. We are have avoided the world that we're in before 2010. Where someone who was sick could be turned down for health insurance just as they were sick. That is insane OKV talk people other countries the notion that developed country could have an insurance system where insurers can turn you down pleasure sick. Violates the norms of what a developed country should be about. And that ended. And 2014 when those regulations when in place and that is fundamentally with the risk here. Our Jonathan Gruber professor of economics and MIT thanks so much for coming in a brief her appreciate your expertise Jonathan thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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