Court rules Obamacare is unconstitutional

Lynn Cook
December 15, 2018

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.

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth agreed with a coalition of 20 states that a change in tax law previous year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance invalidates the entire Obamacare law.

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

Two Republicans - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his Wisconsin counterpart Brad Schimel led the legal challenge. 'The Individual Mandate is essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA'. 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.

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

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President Donald Trump said the ruling was great news for America.

A federal judge Friday evening ruled the Affordable Care Act, better known as ObamaCare, is unconstitutional nationwide. "For the reasons stated above, the Court grants Plaintiffs partial summary judgment and declares the Individual Mandate, 26 U.S.C. § 5000A (a), UNCONSTITUTIONAL". Meanwhile, a number of states are expected to move forward with Medicaid expansion after Democratic victories in the midterm elections.

A year ago, Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill that included a provision eliminating the individual mandate.

But the administration maintained those parts of the law were severable and the rest of the Affordable Care Act could remain in place.

Becerra called Friday's ruling "an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA's consumer protections for healthcare, on America's faithful progress toward affordable healthcare for all Americans".

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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.

"We'll continue to fight in court for New Yorkers and all Americans", she said on Twitter.

The American Medical Association called O'Connor's ruling an "unfortunate step backward for our health system that is contrary to overwhelming public sentiment to preserve pre-existing condition protections".

Since Judge O'Connor did not issue an injunction, the Affordable Care Act and its provisions will remain intact for the time being, meaning no one with an insurance plan via the ACA will lose coverage. President Trump tweeted. "Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions".

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