Adding:A Federal Judge Just Ruled That The Affordable Care Act Is Unconstitutional
In a controversial ruling, a Texas judge has ruled that a minor move by Congress last year is grounds to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act, including pre-existing condition protections.
WASHINGTON — A federal judge in Texas ruled Friday night that the Affordable Care Act must be thrown out in its entirety, a decision that could lead to millions of people losing their health insurance.
In a dramatic ruling that flies in the face of what most legal experts had argued, US District Judge Reed O’Connor, who sits in Fort Worth, found that a tweak to the Affordable Care Act that Congress made last year makes a key part of the law unconstitutional, which means that the rest of the law, including popular provisions such as protections for people with pre-existing health conditions, is invalid.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and a coalition of Democratic state attorneys general who intervened in the case to defend the Affordable Care Act are expected to appeal the ruling, and are likely to seek a delay of the ruling while they take the case up to the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. O'Connor did not stay his ruling pending any appeal as part of his Friday night order.
If O'Connor's decision ultimately stands, it could throw the insurance markets into chaos and return America to the days when insurance companies could refuse insurance to people with pre-existing conditions or charge them exorbitant premiums. It is the most recent of many legal challenges to the ACA, also known as Obamacare, and will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court.
The lawsuit was launched by 20 Republican state attorneys general early this year after Congress effectively eliminated the ACA’s individual mandate. Led by Texas, the states argued this rendered the entire ACA is unconstitutional.
WaPo: Federal judge in Texas rules Obama health-care law unconstitutional
Politico: Judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional, endangering coverage for 20 million
New York Times: Texas Judge Strikes Down Obama’s Affordable Care Act as Unconstitutional