A federal judge has ruled that former President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act, is unconstitutional.
NBC News reports that U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, in Fort Worth, Texas, ruled that Obamacare could no longer stand because there is no longer a penalty for those who choose to not purchase health insurance. Congress abolished the individual mandate requiring every American to carry health insurance last year. A coalition of Republican-leaning states brought the challenge to the law, led by the state of Texas.
“The Individual Mandate can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress’s Tax Power and is still impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause — meaning the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional,” O’Connor wrote in his ruling. “The Individual Mandate is essential to and inserverable from the remainder of the ACA.”
According to NBC News, O’Connor ruled that the ACA cannot stand on its own without being upheld by a large pool of mandated participants.
President Donald Trump, long an outspoken opponent of the ACA, took to Twitter to celebrate and called on congressional leaders to come up with a way to overhaul the law while keeping its more popular components, like protections for those consumers with pre-exisiting conditions.
An appeal to O’Connor’s ruling is expected soon.