Texas Judges Rules Obamacare Unconstitutional
On Friday, a Texas Judge ruled Obamacare, which is officially known as the Affordable Care Act, unconstitutional.
This decision leaves millions of Americans enrolled in the government health care program in limbo.
The suit filed in Texas challenged the constitutionality of the individual mandate. The ACA forced people to get insurance or pay a penalty, but that penalty was removed by Congress last year.
“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,” writes Fox News.
This is a major win for Republicans but the decision will likely be appealed and make its way to the Supreme Court.
President Donald Trump was quick to celebrate the ruling.
“As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster. Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!” tweeted Trump.
He sent a second tweet saying the ruling was “great news for America.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders expressed similar sentiments.
“The judge’s decision vindicates President Trump’s position that Obamacare is unconstitutional,” said Sanders. “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. We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place.”
Then on Saturday, Trump said he would be “sitting down with the Democrats” to “get great health care for our people.”
California, along with other states involved in the ruling, will likely challenge the recent court decision.
“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,” said Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general in a statement, as reported by The New York Times. “The A.C.A. has already survived more than 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts and withstood scrutiny in the Supreme Court.”
Other Democratic leaders were quick to criticize the decision and said they are going to take immediate action.
“While the district court’s absurd ruling will be immediately appealed, Republicans are fully responsible for this cruel decision and for the fear they have struck into millions of families across America who are now in danger of losing their health coverage,” said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. “When House Democrats take the gavel, the House of Representatives will move swiftly to formally intervene in the appeals process to uphold the life-saving protections for people with pre-existing conditions and reject Republicans’ effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act.”
In September, Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh filed a countersuit suing then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Department of Justice and Health and Human Services.
The ruling in Texas occurred during the 2019 six-week open enrollment period for Obamacare. So far, about 4 million have signed up for 2019 coverage on the ACA health exchanges.
Author’s note: The problem with Trump’s dismantling of Obamacare is that Congress must change the law. But it’s likely the ruling will be appealed and will be seen in the Supreme court. When will the democrats realize that ACA didn’t work and its time to stop the bleeding and find a better solution?