Federal Judge Strikes Down Affordable Care Act As Unconstitutional

Federal judge in Texas rules the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional

The ruling comes just before the sign-up period for next year's coverage ends on Dec. 15

The case will now go to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, where the majority of the judges have been appointed by Republican presidents. "Congress severed that thin thread with the tax act of 2017, and all of Obamacare must fall".

Judge Reed O'Connor agreed with them, declaring the mandate and Obamacare "inseverable and therefore invalid". The ruling threatens the ObamaCare health exchanges and aspects of the Affordable Health Care law, including a ban on insurance companies' refusing to cover pre-existing conditions.

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

In a ruling released Friday evening, a federal judge in Texas sided with states arguing that key provisions of the Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare" are unconstitutional. There is no reason to not sign up while the implications of the judge's ruling are tested.

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". If the entire health law is invalidated, popular provisions that benefit Medicare beneficiaries and people with employer coverage would also be scrapped.

Lawyers for the Department of Justice had suggested that O'Connor should not rule until after the open enrollment period for the 2019 plan year ends on December 15 in order to avoid disrupting the markets. "It will destabilize health insurance coverage by rolling back federal policy to 2009". 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". California and other states had intervened to defend the 2010 health care law after the Trump administration declined to defend its provisions that guarantee coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, arguing that those provisions can not be separated from the mandate.

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Additionally, it will examine the extent to which consumers' data is collected and used for targeted advertising. It estimates the digital giants now scoop two-thirds of all Australian advertising spend.

The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 with the aim of providing "near-universal" health insurance coverage and to "lower health insurance premiums", said the background to O'Connor's decision.

"Obamacare has been struck down by a highly respected judge".

"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.

"There is nothing more American than ensuring that every citizen has access to the lifesaving and necessary health care they need".

Preserving the law's protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions proved to be a strong argument for Democrats in the midterm elections.

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