Trump Celebrates Ruling Striking Down Obamacare

The Week reports:

A federal judge in Texas ruled Friday night that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare, must be “invalidated in whole” because its individual mandate provision is unconstitutional.

District Judge Reed O’Connor argued the mandate is “essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA,” and that it cannot “be fairly read as an exercise of Congress’s tax power,” contrary a 2012 Supreme Court ruling upholding the ACA as a tax, “and is still impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause.”

The New York Times reports:

The ruling was over a lawsuit filed this year by a group of Republican governors and state attorneys general. A group of intervening states led by Democrats promised to appeal the decision, which will most likely not have any immediate effect. But it will almost certainly make its way to the Supreme Court, threatening the survival of the landmark health law and, with it, health coverage for millions of Americans, protections for people with pre-existing conditions and much more.

In his ruling, Judge Reed O’Connor of the Federal District Court in Fort Worth said that the individual mandate requiring people to have health insurance “can no longer be sustained as an exercise of Congress’s tax power.” Accordingly, Judge O’Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, said that “the individual mandate is unconstitutional” and the remaining provisions of the Affordable Care Act are invalid.

CNN reports:

The ruling and expected appeal sets up another cliffhanger in which the fate of the law, which Republicans have unsuccessfully tried to repeal for years, will likely once again ultimately lie with the Supreme Court.

Chief Justice John Roberts cast the deciding vote leaving the law intact in 2012, but it’s unclear how the justices will view this challenge, which centers on changes to the individual mandate that were baked into the 2017 tax reform.

President Donald Trump, who campaigned in 2016 on a promise to undo Obamacare, was thwarted in Congress last year by a lone vote from the late Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain. Trump immediately tweeted in celebration on Friday and called on Congress to act.