Numbers released this week by the government show just a slight dip in the number of people enrolled in Affordable Care Act coverage next year through HealthCare.gov. That’s the case even though the Republican-led Congress repealed fines for being uninsured effective Jan. 1. The drop — from 8.8 million to 8.5 million — was far less than experts forecast.
The commentariat of the health law and policy world scrambled the jets and armed their opinion weapons on Friday night when news broke: A federal district court judge in Texas had ruled the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate had, once again, been found unconstitutional and declared the remaining provisions of the law inseverable and therefore invalid. (The first holding actually has happened three times before, in other federal district courts, followed by different mixes of full inseverability, partial severability, and full severability, respectively.)