Affordable Care Act Ruled Unconstitutional by Federal Texas Judge

Judges gavel.

Judge's gavel.

The Affordable Care Act, passed in 2010, has been ruled unconstitutional by a Texas judge. Due to a recent change in federal tax law, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor ruled Friday that ACA is invalid.

Obamacare Ruled Invalid

On Friday, December 14th, the eve of the signup deadline for ACA 2019, U.S. District Judge, Reed O’Connor ruled that ACA was, in fact, invalid. In his 55 page opinion, Judge O’Connor stated that last years tax cut bill pushed the constitutional foundation out from under “Obamacare” by eliminating a penalty for not having coverage.

Met With Criticism

The ruling has received much criticism over the past day. The California Attorney General stated that the ruling was an assault on Americans.

“Today’s ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA’s consumer protections for health care, and on America’s faithful progress toward affordable health care for all Americans,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. [1]

Representative Nancy Pelosi, who is suspected to become Speaker in Congress, tweeted that the ruling was absurd and that when Democrats take control of the house in January, they will quickly put a stop to the appeals process.

Next Stop- Supreme Court

With only one day left to sign up for 2019s Obamacare coverage, the ruling is unlikely to have any effect on those getting insurance for next year. Although the White House sided with O’Connor’s ruling, they said the law will remain in place while appeals proceed.

“We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement. [2]


  1. ^Korosec, Tom and Kartikay Mehrotra. “Democrats Vow Rapid Action After Obamacare Thrown Out by Judge.”, 15 Dec. 2018, (go back  ↩)
  2. ^“Federal Judge Rules Against Obama’s Affordable Care Act.” Time, 15 Dec. 2018, (go back  ↩)

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