A judge ruled Friday evening that Obamacare is unconstitutional, putting the future of the federal healthcare law in jeopardy.
The decision, issued by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in the Northern District of Texas — a George W. Bush appointee, is likely to face an appeal.
The suit in the case, Texas v. Azar, was brought by 20 Republican state officials, who have asked that all of Obamacare be thrown out as a consequence of the new tax law, which zeroed out a penalty on the uninsured, known as the “individual mandate.” The officials argued that the penalty was central to making the rest of the law work, and that without it, the rest should crumble.
O’Connor appeared to sympathize with this argument in his opinion.
“Congress stated many times unequivocally — through enacted text signed by the president — that the individual mandate is ‘essential’ to the ACA,” he wrote of the Affordable Care Act, the formal name for Obamacare. “And this essentiality, the ACA’s text makes clear, means the mandate must work ‘together with the other provisions’ for the Act to function as intended.”
O’Connor was talking about the Obama administration’s argument for the mandate in a 2012 Supreme Court case.
The decision came just a day ahead of when the open enrollment for Obamacare’s marketplaces are set to close across most of the U.S.
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Source: Washington Examiner