Federal Judge Strikes Down Affordable Care Act As Unconstitutional

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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.

A coalition of 20 states argued the entire law had been invalidated by a change in tax rules previous year which eliminated a penalty for not having health insurance.

The GOP-led states who brought the lawsuit asked O'Connor to toss out the entire law after Congress repealed the "individual mandate" penalty for going without coverage.

The decision also comes one day before the open enrollment deadline. "And this essentiality, the ACA's text makes clear, means the mandate must work "together with the other provisions" for the Act to function as intended".

"If this Texas decision on the ACA is upheld, it would throw the individual insurance market and the whole health care system into complete chaos", Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation said on Twitter.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led the coalition of states that defended the ACA promised to continue the court fight to preserve the law.

He first tweeted shortly after 9 pm, 'As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!

President Trump celebrated the decision, calling it "Great news for America!". Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.

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A federal Fort Worth judge filed a decision in a national Obamacare ruling on Friday, casting doubt on coverage for millions of Americans.

"The court recognized that the individual mandate penalty is unconstitutional, found that the entirety of the act could not be separated from the individual mandate penalty, and as a result, entered a judgment that the entirety of the affordable care act is invalid", Henneke said in an interview with the Star-Telegram on Friday.

The top Senate Democrat on Friday night criticized the court's decision.

As part of a tax overhaul a year ago, congressional Republicans pushed through a change in which that ACA penalty will be eliminated, starting in January.

While O'Connor's ruling marks an uncertain moment for the millions of people who rely on Obamacare for health insurance coverage, it won't immediately take effect.

US Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said: "If this bad ruling is upheld in the higher courts, itwill be a disaster for tens of millions of American families".

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

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, insurers often rejected applicants who are or had been ill or offered them only limited coverage with high rates.