A federal judge in Texas Friday struck down the entire Affordable Care Act, popular as Obamacare, ruling that the health-care law's individual coverage mandate was "unconstitutional", handing a major political victory to US President Donald Trump who has always been seeking its end. Medicaid expansion will proceed in Virginia, one of the latest states to accept that option. "Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT health care and protects pre-existing conditions".
This Oct. 23, 2018 file photo shows the HealthCare.gov website on a computer screen in NY.
U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor, in a 55-page opinion Friday, said the elimination a year ago of a requirement for individuals to have health insurance made the entire law invalid.
The Maine Republican said that she did not regret her support for the tax reform bill that zeroed out the individual mandate penalty and led to the federal court's decision but said that access to affordable health care still needs to be improved.
"On the assumption that the Supreme Court upholds, we will get great, great health care for our people", President Trump told reporters during a visit Saturday to Arlington National Cemetery.
After repeatedly trying and failing to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in Congress, Trump and his Republican allies have turned to right-wing activist judges to try to overturn this vital law, alleged Democratic Senator Dick Durbin.
The Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.is pictured on April 4, 2017.
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Last year, Republicans - while attempting to repeal ObamaCare - ended up getting rid of the penalty.
Douglas Holtz-Eakin, top policy adviser to Republican John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign, said he was struck by the relative silence from top Republicans after the ruling issued.
Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer condemned the "awful" ruling and vowed congressional action as soon as possible for an "intervention" in the case.
"I believe that's the likeliest outcome, because ObamaCare has always been unconstitutional", he asserted.
"This'll be another area where health care will be used as a political issue, way beyond one district judge making a ruling that has no immediate impact", Blunt said. And, if that appeals court says no, the states favoring the law can take that request to the Supreme Court. Since the 1790s, the federal courts have never had the authority to give legal advice; they are obliged constitutionally to decide genuine "cases or controversies" - actual, real-world lawsuits. That could include the section that allows parents to keep young adult children on their coverage until age 26.
"The legal merits of the case are frivolous", said University of MI law professor Nicholas Bagley.
Judge Reed O'Connor agreed with them, declaring the mandate and Obamacare "inseverable and therefore invalid".
In the wake of a Texas judge striking down the Obamacare health insurance law, Sen. No matter how O'Connor ruled, legal experts have been forecasting that the Texas case would be appealed and could well place the law again before the high court, giving its conservative newest member, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, a first opportunity to take part.