In a surprise Friday night decision, a federal judge in Dallas ruled that the Affordable Care Act, the signature success of President Barack Obama, is unconstitutional, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
In a sixty page opinion, US District Court Judge Reed O'Connor, a George W. Bush appointee, agreed with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton the the decision last December by Congress to repeal the tax penalty for not carrying health insurance, the so called Individual mandate, means the program is no longer protected under the 'Constitutional power to tax,' which was the argument used by the Supreme Court in its landmark 2013 ruling upholding the ACA..
"Today's ruling halts the unconstitutional exertion of federal power over the American health care system," Paxton said in a midnight statement.. "Our lawsuit seeks to effectively repeal Obamacare."
President Trump tweeted late Friday praising the ruling. and calling Obamacare 'a disaster' ad calling on Congress to now approve a 'strong law that provides great health care and protects pre-existing conditions.'
Ironically, the ruling comes the evening before the deadline to enroll in ACA for 2019,
Even though Judge O'Connor's ruling outlaws the program nationwide, it will not take effect while appeals are underway.. The first appeal will be to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is the country's most conservative appeals court, and has frequently taken a dim view of overreaching federal authority.
The ruling is also expected to roil Congress when the new session convenes in January.. House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats immediately condemned the ruling, and promised to vigorously defend the health care program on appeal.