Judge rules health care overhaul unconstitutional

Judge rules health care overhaul unconstitutional

Seema Verma, the administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, which oversees those insurance exchanges, said in a tweet: "The recent federal court decision is still moving through the courts, and the exchanges are still open for business and we will continue with open enrollment".

"The remainder of the ACA is non-severable from the individual mandate, meaning that the Act must be invalidated in whole", O'Connor wrote.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who spearheaded the lawsuit, said the ruling "will give President Trump and Congress the opportunity to replace the failed social experiment with a plan that ensures Texans and all Americans will again have greater choice about what health coverage they need and who will be their doctor". It revolves around Congress effectively eliminating the individual mandate penalty by reducing it to $0 as part of the 2017 tax cut bill.

Texas led 19 states arguing that the individual mandate - the requirement that everyone must have health insurance - is unconstitutional, after Congress gutted the key portion of the mandate, the tax penalty for not buying coverage.

"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", Becerra said in a statement, obtained by The New York Times.

It is hard to overstate what would happen to the nation's health care system if the decision is ultimately upheld. Frosh's case is State of Maryland v. The plaintiffs argued that because the Supreme Court upheld the ACA in 2012 as a constitutional use of its taxing power, the elimination of the tax makes the rest of the law unconstitutional. 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.

The administration urged the court to declare those provisions invalid beginning January 1, 2019.

"Obamacare has been struck down by a highly respected judge", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. That is the day the tax penalty for not having insurance disappears.

It's no wonder that politicians on both sides of the aisle promised to protect those with pre-existing conditions during the election.

President Trump celebrated the decision, calling it "Great news for America!".

Mr. Trump told Senate Majority Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, poised to become speaker, to "get it done" in his tweets.

The lawsuit has been opposed by a coalition of 17 Democratic attorneys general, led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a former congressman.

President Donald Trump applauded the judge's decision.

"If this very bad ruling is upheld in the higher courts, it will be a disaster for tens of millions of American families, especially for people with pre-existing conditions", said Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.

Many legal experts agreed with that.

The decision is a huge swipe at the 2010 health law and sets the stage for a bigger fight in appeals courts.

Even some conservatives were left scratching their heads.

Congress is unlikely to act while the case remains in the courts.

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