Federal Judge In Fort Worth Strikes Down Obamacare As Unconstitutional

Brittany Mendoza
December 15, 2018

A Texas federal judge has struck down the Affordable Care Act, ruling it cannot be classed as a tax without a penalty for those who don't buy health insurance.

Judge Reed O'Connor, a U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of Texas appointed by former President George W. Bush, ruled that Obamacare violated the Constitution.

O'Connor's decision is likely to be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The lawsuit was brought by conservative Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, 18 other Republican attorneys general, and one governor, the Denver Post reports.

"Perhaps it is impossible to know which minor provisions Congress would have passed absent the individual mandate", O'Connor wrote.

They further argued that the whole health care law was no longer valid without the tax.

The decision will be immediately appealed, said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led a group of blue states in intervening to defend the law.

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"As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!" President Trump has vowed since his campaign to dismantle the law, a main domestic achievement of his predecessor, and the administration has been taking steps on its own to foster alternative insurance that tends to be less expensive because it skirts ACA requirements.

The future of the Affordable Care Act might be hanging in the balance thanks to a federal judge in Texas, but Obamacare coverage isn't over just yet.

He also noted that all nine Supreme Court justices who weighed in on the law said the individual mandate and the pre-existing conditions coverage protections, guaranteed issue and community ratings provisions could not be severed.

"The Republican Party should be ashamed and leaders in Congress must fight back against this reckless decision". It revolves around Congress effectively eliminating the individual mandate penalty by reducing it to $0 as part of the 2017 tax cut bill.

But the administration maintained those parts of the law were severable and the rest of the Affordable Care Act could remain in place. Once again, the President calls on Congress to replace Obamacare and act to protect people with preexisting conditions and provide Americans with quality affordable healthcare.

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

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. 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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