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Arguments in ‘Obamacare’ lawsuit set for July

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments July 9 in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of former President Barack Obama’s health care law.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans is considering a federal judge’s ruling on the law from December, in which Judge Reed O’Connor ruled the law as unconstitutional.

A coalition of Republican-led states — including West Virginia — and the Department of Justice argue the law is no longer constitutional because of Congress’ repeal of the individual mandate provision as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in December 2017.

O’Connor said the individual mandate and the health care law cannot be separated.

Twenty-one Democratic attorneys general — led by California’s Xavier Becerra — and the U.S. House of Representatives say the individual mandate is not essential to other parts of the Affordable Care Act, noting in briefs filed Wednesday that Congress maintained other provisions of the law.

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