Obamacare ruled unconstitutional by USA federal judge in Texas

BREAKING NOW: Federal Judge Rules 'ENTIRE' Affordable Care Act Unconstitutional

BREAKING NOW: Federal Judge Rules 'ENTIRE' Affordable Care Act Unconstitutional

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.

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

The ruling is expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court and the law will remain in effect until the appeals process is over.

Two Republicans - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his Wisconsin counterpart Brad Schimel led the legal challenge. The judgment could affect insurance coverage for millions of Americans, just before the end of a six-week open enrollment period for the program in 2019.

Judge Reed O'Connor agreed with them, declaring the mandate and Obamacare "inseverable and therefore invalid".

"There is nothing more American than ensuring that every citizen has access to the lifesaving and necessary health care they need".

Supporters of the law immediately said they would appeal. "The judge's decision vindicates President Trump's position that Obamacare is unconstitutional". President Donald Trump tweeted that Congress should pass a new law. President Trump tweeted. "Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions". The Supreme Court's reasoning in NFIB-buttressed by other binding precedent and plain text-thus compels the conclusion that the Individual Mandate may no longer be upheld under the Tax Power.

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The top Senate Democrat on Friday night criticized the court's decision. The court case argued that all of the pieces of the law were dependent upon each other, so by eliminating the penalty the rest of the law fell apart.

Becerra called Friday's ruling "an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA's consumer protections for healthcare, on America's faithful progress toward affordable healthcare for all Americans".

Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, told reporters in November that the administration had contingency plans in place for a ruling if the law was overturned, but declined to elaborate on them.

California and Democratic officials in 14 states, along with the District of Columbia, won permission to defend ACA in the Fort Worth case when the Trump administration sided with the states seeking to dismantle it.

The ACA can only stand as it was originally designed by Congress, O'Connor added, saying that lawmakers needed to have the penalty to force people to sign up for exchange insurance.

The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010 with the aim of providing "near-universal" health insurance coverage and to "lower health insurance premiums", said the background to O'Connor's decision.

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