Judge strikes down Obamacare, but no changes yet
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 12/15/18, 10:36 am
A federal judge’s ruling Friday that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional sets up a major legal showdown over the law but won’t affect existing Obamacare coverage in the short term. U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor said that when last year’s tax cut legislation removed the individual penalty for not having health coverage, it knocked the constitutional foundation out from under the law. The Supreme Court decided in a landmark case in 2012 that Congress had the authority to enact most of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare package as a tax provision. Now that a Republican Congress has removed the tax penalty, the law doesn’t pass constitutional muster, O’Connor ruled.
The White House applauded the decision but said the law remains in place while appeals proceed. “As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!” President Donald Trump tweeted. “Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.”
Supporters of the law immediately said they would appeal. “Today’s misguided ruling will not deter us: our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and well-being of all Americans,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading a group of states defending the law.
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