After judge’s ruling against ‘Obamacare,’ what happens now?

The Affordable Care Act that protects people with pre-existing conditions is at risk after a federal judge in Texas ruled it unconstitutional

The future of the Affordable Care Act is threatened - again - this time by a ruling Friday from a federal district court judge in Texas.

Judge Reed O'Connor, appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas in 2007 by former President George W. Bush, ruled that the individual mandate is illegal and therefore the entire law is unconstitutional.

O'Connor argued that the Supreme Court ruling was invalidated by the removal by Congress and the Trump administration of the law's signature individual mandate.

On Friday, O'Connor ruled that after Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill passed by Congress past year that eliminated the penalties, the individual mandate could no longer be considered constitutional.

But the ongoing court battles over the law are likely to proceed eventually to the Supreme Court, where President Donald Trump's appointees, Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch, could rule against the law.

In court briefs, Paxton had argued that if the judge decides not to strike down the law in its entirety, he should eliminate Obamacare protections in just those states that are challenging it. But even then, the Supreme Court wouldn't hear the case before the fall of 2019 at the earliest, with a decision unlikely before the spring of 2020 - amid the presidential and congressional campaigns.

FILE - A person walks by a health care insurance office in Hialeah, Fla.

NPR's Kodjak says the state of California has already said it will appeal the ruling. But the group of Republican governors and state officials who brought the current lawsuit argue that since the penalty for not buying coverage has been reduced to zero, the mandate is no longer a tax and thus is now not allowed under US law.

Wijnaldum points to confidence Alisson gives Liverpool team-mates
But Owen is a fan, saying on BT Sport: "I think the manager has to take some of the blame - the system, the way he plays". Most of the time it's the goals that command the headlines, but this week it seems saves are the talking point of choice.

The court's ruling implicates the entire ACA, including provisions unrelated to insurance reforms, although its reasoning has been criticized, and the ruling gives little explanation for why it considered all of the ACA's provisions to depend on the continued existence of the individual mandate. No one will be getting kicked off their insurance in the short run, or likely at all.

"If this Texas decision on the ACA is upheld, it would throw the individual insurance market and the whole health care system into complete chaos", Larry Levitt, a senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation, wrote on Twitter, the Times reported. So about 12 million people who gained coverage could be left uninsured.

Schumer spoke out on Meet the Press Sunday morning, pledging that his top priority when Congress returns from its holiday recess will be to pass a law preserving the Affordable Care Act, even though Schumer remains in the minority in the Senate.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins expressed similar dissatisfaction with the ruling as she dismissed the decision as "far too sweeping" and she believes it "will be overturned on appeal".

O'Connor concluded that striking down the individual mandate would necessitate throwing out the rest of the law.

Democratic attorneys general, who became the de facto defendants for the Affordable Care Act when the Trump administration refused to defend the law, have asked O'Connor for clarification of his order, as it's unclear what effect the declaratory judgment has. Trump said last week that he would be "proud" to shut down the government over border wall funding.

She added: "The midterm elections were an overwhelming affirmation that Americans want affordable health care and the incoming Democratic House will do everything in our power to ensure affordable health care for all".

Many healthcare experts are optimistic that the Affordable Care Act will survive this latest challenge.

Related:

Comments

Latest news

Philippines' Catriona Gray wins Miss Universe 2018
Francesca ( Miss Australia ) said that would be so isolating and I said yes and just confusing all the time . When she didn't win the top 20, Ponce said in a video presentation: "I don't need to win Miss Universe ".

Joe Sugg 'confirms' romance with Strictly partner Dianne Buswell
Meanwhile Kevin said taking part in the show with Stacey made him "fall in love with dancing again". The Steps star said that, early on, she was angling to be partnered with Giovanni Pernice.

Samantha Markle SLAMS Meghan over Christmas card with Prince Harry
Meghan Markle has already had quite the year as a new royal, and it looks like things are only going to get more involved for her. He declined the Boxing Day past year and skipped the grouse hunt at Balmoral three months ago.

Champions league draw: Liverpool face Bayern Munich, Man Utd take on PSG
At the start of the season, I tipped Manchester City to win the Champions League and nothing has happened to change my view. The second legs will take place on March 5, 6, 12 and 13.

Political Heavyweights at Isha Ambani's Grand Wedding
Photos and videos of Isha and Anand's wedding are still taking over the internet, with many calling it the "wedding of the year". Beyonce performed at Isha Ambani's pre-wedding celebrations in Udaipur, here's some more information for you to consider.

Spider-Man PS4: Silver Lining DLC information released
She's returned, Insomniac says, to "reclaim her stolen Sable International tech" from Hammerhead . The latest Happy Meal set has just debut a new collection of Spider-Man figurines.

Dwyane Wade Gifts Josh Hart Game-Worn Shoes With Personal Message
Dwyane Wade (front) and LeBron James arrived in the National Basketball Association as part of a star-studded draft in 2003. Wade said it was because James knew him so well and had his number.

Xhaka delighted with 'perfect week' for Gunners
Five Arsenal players received cautions and three of them - Xhaka, Mustafi and Guendouzi - were rightly booked for diving.

RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das to meet heads of PSBs, private banks
Market participants are hopeful that the new governor will be more communicative and sympathetic to their concerns. So, there are several areas which central bank has to be dealing with and so we will focus on those areas.

U.S. accuses China for massive Marriott hotel chain data theft
China has reportedly been trying to build a database containing U.S. government officials' personal information. This time it's being accused of carrying out the Marriott data breach , according to the New York Times .

Apple to open $1B campus in Austin, Texas
After losing the title of the most valuable company of the world to Microsoft , Apple is looking to expand its network of offices. The news site GeekWire , citing anonymous sources, pegged Apple's presence in the building at 70,000 square feet in April.

In plea deal, Russian woman admits to being a secret agent
Butina, jailed since her arrest in July, had mounted an aggressive defence and tried to have the charges against her tossed. Butina appeared in court Thursday wearing a green jail uniform, her red hair in a long braid running down her back.

May stares down rebels to win leadership ballot
Conservative MPs briefed that May had told them she did not intend to lead the party in the next general election due in 2022. The backstop has been opposed by unionists over fears it could split Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK.

This is what you Googled the most in 2018
The top five list includes "supermarkets near me", "gas stations near me", "cashpoint near me", and "car dealers near me". If you want to check out the other U.S. search trends of 2018, you can do so here.

Google rules out a Chinese search engine
Pichai stressed that users opt in to certain data-tracking features, giving the example of fitness apps that measure steps. Google CEO Sundar Pichai is going to testify before Congress today-the first time he's ever done such a thing.

Other news