RIP Obamacare? Federal judge strikes down Affordable Care Act as ‘unconstitutional’

RIP Obamacare? Federal judge strikes down Affordable Care Act as ‘unconstitutional’

RIP Obamacare? Federal judge strikes down Affordable Care Act as ‘unconstitutional’

The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was struck down by a Texas judge on Friday, a move that could suddenly disrupt the health insurance status of millions of Americans.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth is nearly guaranteed to go to the Supreme Court.

The case is expected to be appealed and eventually reach the Supreme Court.

O'Connor's ruling comes one day ahead of when Obamacare's marketplaces will close for most of the country's open enrollment period.

"The remainder of the ACA is non-severable from the individual mandate, meaning that the Act must be invalidated in whole", wrote O'Connor in his 55-page opinion, Bloomberg reports. The lawsuit argues that, with the enforcement of the insurance requirement gone, there is no longer a tax, so the law is not constitutional anymore. "Today's misguided ruling will not deter us: our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and wellbeing of all Americans", said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading a coalition of states defending the ACA.

"The judge's decision vindicates President Trump's position that Obamacare is unconstitutional", Sanders continued.

In a second tweet, the president declared the ruling to be "great news for America!".

He also noted that all nine Supreme Court justices who weighed in on the law said the individual mandate and the pre-existing conditions coverage protections, guaranteed issue and community ratings provisions could not be severed. "For the reasons stated above, the Court grants Plaintiffs partial summary judgment and declares the Individual Mandate, 26 U.S.C. § 5000A (a), UNCONSTITUTIONAL". Because the mandate is an essential part of the ACA in the judge's view, that led him to rule that the entire health law should be struck down.

"Today's ruling enjoining Obamacare halts an unconstitutional exertion of federal power over the American health care system while our multistate coalition lawsuit works its way through the courts", Paxton said in the 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.

"If this terrible ruling is upheld in the higher courts, it will be a disaster for tens of millions of American families, especially for people with pre-existing conditions", said Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y. "Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place".

"The ruling seems to be based on faulty legal reasoning and hopefully it will be overturned", Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tweeted.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act could lead to about 15 million people losing their health insurance coverage, according to Ana Gupte, a Wall Street analyst at Leerink Partners.

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