Federal judge in Texas rules Affordable Care Act unconstitutional; supporters to appeal

Federal judge in Texas rules Affordable Care Act unconstitutional; supporters to appeal

Federal judge in Texas rules Affordable Care Act unconstitutional; supporters to appeal

President Trump celebrated the ruling by a Bush-appointed federal judge that struck down the Affordable Care Act - or ObamaCare - "in whole".

Judge Reed O'Connor, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, sided with Texas and the other states, saying the law can not stand without the so-called "individual mandate" to get coverage, which Republicans effectively ended as part of a 2017 tax overhaul. The decision is nearly certain to be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.

In June, the Justice Department declared the healthcare law's "individual mandate" unconstitutional in federal court. As the Washington Post notes, "legal experts have been forecasting that the Texas case would be appealed and could well place the law again before the high court, giving its conservative newest member, Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh, a first opportunity to take part". "The judge's decision vindicates President Trump's position that Obamacare is unconstitutional". A group of Republican state attorneys general argued in their lawsuit that the repeal of the tax penalty gutted the argument for ACA legality.

"While the district court's absurd ruling will be immediately appealed, Republicans are fully responsible for this cruel decision and for the fear they have struck into millions of families across America who are now in danger of losing their health coverage", House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement.

California and Democratic officials in 14 states, along with the District of Columbia, won permission to defend ACA in the Fort Worth case when the Trump administration sided with the states seeking to dismantle it.

However, Congress is unlikely to act while the case remains in the courts.

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Legal expert Timothy Jost, a supporter of the health law, said O'Connor's ruling would have repercussions for almost all Americans if it stands. Meanwhile, a number of states are expected to move forward with Medicaid expansion after Democratic victories in the midterm elections. It agreed that the zeroing out the penalty renders the individual mandate unconstitutional but argued that that invalidates only the law's protections of those with pre-existing conditions. The decision is nearly certain to be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.

A federal judge in Texas has ruled the Affordable Care Act "invalid" on the eve of the sign-up deadline for coverage next year.

In Texas alone, there are more than 4.5 million "nonelderly adults" with pre-existing conditions that could make it hard for them to get health insurance if Obamacare went away, statistics show.

It's no wonder that politicians on both sides of the aisle promised to protect those with pre-existing conditions during the election.

He had led an effort to intervene the challenge of the health care law.

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