Federal judge in Texas rules ObamaCare is unconstitutional
15 December, 2018, 08:01 | Author: Joshua Bennett
U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth, Texas, a George W. Bush appointee, sided with a group of Republican Attorneys General and other GOP officials from 20 states, led by Texas, that without the individual mandate, the law itself is unconstitutional.
"The lawsuit had to do with whether when Congress previous year repealed or eliminated the penalty for not having insurance - it was a tax penalty for people who didn't have insurance - whether that meant the rest of the law didn't apply anymore".
Twenty Republican-led states brought the lawsuit.
The Texas court ruling came a day before the deadline for Obamacare enrolment for the coming year.
"Congress stated many times unequivocally - through enacted text signed by the president - that the individual mandate is "essential" to the ACA", O'Connor wrote.
"There is nothing more American than ensuring that every citizen has access to the lifesaving and necessary health care they need".
President Trump, who lambasted his own party for failing to repeal and replace the law as promised, applauded the decision.
The judge's decision vindicates President Trump's position that Obamacare is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court's reasoning in NFIB-buttressed by other binding precedent and plain text-thus compels the conclusion that the Individual Mandate may no longer be upheld under the Tax Power.
In his ruling Friday, O'Connor agreed with Republicans that with the tax aspect of the law scheduled for elimination starting January 2019, the 2012 ruling's defense of the law is invalidated, making the entire law unconstitutional.
"We'll continue to fight in court for New Yorkers and all Americans", she said on Twitter.
Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown tweeted: "This decision threatens the health coverage of 20 million people and undermines pre-existing condition protections for all Americans".
Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told reporters in November that the administration had contingency plans in place for a ruling if the law was overturned, but declined to elaborate on them. "It will destabilize health insurance coverage by rolling back federal policy to 2009".
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".
He followed that missive with another celebratory tweet, demanding that House Speaker-Designate Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) immediately work on replacement legislation that will protect pre-existing conditions and provide great health care.
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.
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