Republican-appointed judges appear to side with Texas challenge to Obamacare

Two Republican-appointed judges hearing a Trump-backed challenge to Obamacare strongly suggested Tuesday that when Congress eliminated the penalty for not buying health insurance it threw the entire landmark health care law into question, including protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

Such a ruling would threaten to wipe away coverage for millions of Americans and have a dramatic impact on a presidential race that is already focused on access to and costs of health care, nearly 10 years after President Barack Obama signed his signature domestic achievement.
Two of the three judges on the appellate panel in New Orleans — Jennifer Elrod, a George W. Bush appointee, and Kurt Engelhardt, a President Donald Trump appointee — gave the appearance that they might side with a lower court judge who ruled last year that the whole law should be struck down.
Chief Justice John Roberts in 2012 famously upheld Obamacare by declaring it legal as a tax. But since the tax is now zero, conservatives say the law is doomed.