A federal judge in Texas has ruled Obamacare unconstitutional, landing yet another blow to the controversial legacy policy of former President Barack Obama.
The case, brought by a 20-state coalition led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, centered around the individual mandate of the healthcare law which required that individuals purchase federally approved health insurance policies or be fined by the federal government.
In his opinion, Judge Reed O’Connor wrote that the mandate, which was upheld as a”tax” rather than a fine in a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court case, “can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress’ tax power” because Congress repealed the fine in 2017.
O’Connor added that, because the mandate is “essential” to the entirety of the law, the entire law is invalid without it.
“Today’s ruling halts an unconstitutional exertion of federal power over the American healthcare system,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Our lawsuit seeks to effectively repeal Obamacare, which will give President Trump and Congress the opportunity to replace the failed social experiment with a plan that ensures Texans and all Americans will again have greater choice about what health coverage they need and who will be their doctor.”
President Donald Trump took to Twitter to celebrate the ruling, calling the decision “great news for America!”
Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2018
Democrats have already decried the decision and vowed to fight back, with the Democrat attorney general of California promising to appeal the decision.