The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was struck down by a Texas judge on Friday, a move that could suddenly disrupt the health insurance status of millions of Americans. The decision comes amid a six-week open enrollment period for the program.
Texas, along with 19 states, had argued to U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor that they had been hurt by a jump in the amount of people utilizing state-backed insurance. When Congress cut the tax penalty from the program in 2017, the states claimed, it essentially undercut the Supreme Court’s reasoning for finding former President Barack Obama’s signature legislation constitutional in 2012.
“The remainder of the ACA is non-severable from the individual mandate, meaning that the Act must be invalidated in whole,” O’Connor wrote in a 55-page opinion, according to Bloomberg. O’Connor is a conservative Republican appointee who previously blocked other Obama-era policies.
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“As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster,” President Trump tweeted following the ruling. “Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!”
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