About 480,000 Georgians have coverage purchased through the state’s ACA exchange.
Individual policy buyers in Georgia saw major rate hikes last year, with some premiums increasing by more than 50 percent. Companies and bond-rating agencies blamed uncertainty in the market due to Washington politics.
This lawsuit injects yet more uncertainty. If rates rise again, those costs will be spread across the individual customer market, no matter whether the person buying the insurance buys it on the exchange or off.
On the other hand, for opponents of the ACA the lawsuit holds out hope that the mandate will fall away and they can simply opt not to have insurance — or choose to buy insurance that covers less and is cheaper.
The ACA has survived several legal challenges. The most perilous was the first one, when the U.S. Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision said ruled that the mandate that every individual have insurance was constitutional because it is a tax.
However, at the urging of President Donald Trump, Congress last year repealed the financial penalty for violating the individual mandate. So, the lawsuit says, the mandate is no longer a tax, and thus it’s no longer constitutional.