FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – A federal judge in Texas has ruled the Affordable Care Act “invalid” on the eve of the sign-up deadline for coverage next year.
In a 55-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled Friday that last year’s tax cut bill knocked the constitutional foundation from under “Obamacare” by eliminating a penalty for not having coverage.
Supporters of the law immediately said they would appeal.
The White House applauded O’Connor’s ruling, but said the law remains in place while appeals proceed. President Donald Trump tweeted that Congress should pass a new law.
Twenty Republican-led states brought the lawsuit. After Trump ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the health law, a coalition of ACA-supporting states took up the defense.
O’Connor is a conservative Republican appointee who previously blocked other Obama-era policies.
Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA), released the following statement:
“Obamacare was sold on a lie. Oklahomans and millions of Americans have lost the plan or doctor they preferred and health insurance premiums and deductibles rose significantly because of Obamacare. The law was narrowly passed and on tenuous legal gymnastics and trickery… A number of provisions or executive actions regarding Obamacare have been ultimately ruled unconstitutional. It’s no surprise that once again the law has been found unconstitutional.”