Trump Praises Judge Ruling Against Obamacare

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A Texas federal judge has struck down the Affordable Care Act, ruling it cannot be classed as a tax without a penalty for those who don't buy health insurance.

Leaning on the U.S. Supreme Court decision that the ACA is a tax, U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor said that the entire law was invalidated by the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which zeroed out the individual mandate penalty. The judge ruled that the law's individual mandate violates the Constitution and therefore the entire ACA violates the Constitution.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led the team of Democratic state attorneys general defending Obamacare in Texas, called O'Connor's ruling "misguided" and an "assault" on Americans.

Lawyers for the Department of Justice had suggested that O'Connor should not rule until after the open enrollment period for the 2019 plan year ends on December 15 in order to avoid disrupting the markets. "The Court finds the Individual Mandate "is essential to" and inseverable from "the other provisions of" the ACA", wrote O'Connor in his 55-page long opinion.

The attorney for the suit, Robert Henneke, said the Affordable Care Act is no longer legal because Congress deleted the individual mandate in the GOP's tax bill a year ago.

President Donald Trump tweeted, "As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!"

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

In a ruling released Friday evening, a federal judge in Texas sided with states arguing that key provisions of the Affordable Care Act or "Obamacare" are unconstitutional.

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He ruled that the individual mandate was now unconstitutional.

The top Senate Democrat on Friday night criticized the court's decision.

A year ago, Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill that included a provision eliminating the individual mandate.

The decision throws the health insurance of as many as 20 million people into doubt.

About 20 million people have gained health insurance coverage since the ACA passed in 2010 without a single Republican vote.

Because the administration would not defend the law, California, joined by 16 other Democratic states, stepped in. And in a statement late Friday, the White House ensured the public that the Affordable Care Act would remain in effect as the ruling is being appealed. Three-quarters of Americans say that it is "very important" for the law to continue prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage because of medical histories, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's September tracking poll - 58% of Republicans feel the same way.

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, insurers often rejected applicants who are or had been ill or offered them only limited coverage with high rates. Trump tweeted. "Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions".

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