Friday, 22 March, 2019

District Court Judge in Texas Holds ACA Is Unlawful

Information cards displayed during an Affordable Care Act enrollment event in San Antonio Texas in 2016. A federal judge struck down the health insurance law as unconstitutional Friday MoreCloseclosemore
Johnnie Parks | 15 December, 2018, 06:23

The Affordable Care Act, the signature policy achievement of President Obama and his attempt to create a de facto universal healthcare system vis-a-vis a neoliberal stew of public and private healthcare providers, has been ruled unconstitutional in federal court by U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor, multiple outlets reported on Friday.

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 invalidated the entire Obamacare law.

Ending the act would eliminate current protections for those with pre-existing conditions, such as pregnancy, arthritis and diabetes. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!'

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

President Donald Trump hailed the ruling, tweeting: "As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!"

The coalition of states challenging the law was led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, both Republicans.

In a court brief and an accompanying letter to congressional leaders, the Justice Department did not go that far.

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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. There is no reason to not sign up while the implications of the judge's ruling are tested.

"Americans who care about working families must do all they can to prevent this district court ruling from becoming law".

"Today's ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the A.C.A.'s consumer protections for health care, on America's faithful progress toward affordable health care for all Americans", Xavier Becerra, California's attorney general, said in a statement, according to The New York Times.

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

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

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise boasted his chamber passed a law to replace Obamacare in May 2017, however, leaving the situation in chaos.

Analysts said the ruling might cause chaos in the final hours of Obamacare enrollment but wouldn't have an immediate effect, since the mandate penalty doesn't shrink to zero until the new year and liberal officials will move for a stay.

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