A federal judge ruled against Obamacare. What happens now?

U.S. judge finds obamacare unconstitutional

If the court were to overturn the law, it would leave the Trump administration and a divided Congress in a remarkably hard situation - scrambling to come up with an alternative that has eluded the law's critics in Washington ever since its passage in 2010.

If O'Connor's ruling stands, it would deal a major blow to the USA health care system. These include emergency services, maternity and newborn care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, prescription drugs and pediatric care.

And because the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare - and the individual mandate - under the basis the law's penalty is actually a "tax", and therefore legal under Congress' constitutionally-based taxing power, without the individual mandate, O'Connor said Obamacare must be "invalidated as a whole". But the crushing rise in the number of uninsured patients likely to follow this decision, absent a higher court's reversal, would push these hospitals to the breaking point.

"This is a five-alarm fire", said Sen.

Industry groups and independent health care analysts say wiping out Obamacare without an alternative would mean a highly disruptive shift in the health care of millions of Americans.

Other insurers that slipped included Molina Healthcare Inc. and Anthem Inc., companies that have benefited from either the insurance exchanges or the law's Medicaid expansion.

President Donald Trump ailed a court decision against Obamacare as "a great ruling for our country", while a USA government official said the decision by a Texas judge would have no immediate impact on health coverage.

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi condemned the ruling and promised that the House of Representatives would participate in appeals after control of the legislative body passed to the Democrats in 2019. A vote on a resolution to do so is expected in the earliest days of the new Congress. Health insurers could also drop, but some of that may be priced in because they fell ahead of the ruling, he said.

Angry Democrats blamed Republicans for what they see as a debacle that could leave millions of Americans without health care. Those gains have translated to better health and productivity for hard-working people who once could not afford the high cost of coverage.

For one thing, O'Connor didn't enjoin the federal government from enforcing the provisions of the ACA.

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But the timing of the decision seemed created to maximize political reverberations. Several of those states have responded to the Texas ruling by extending Saturday's deadline until December 21, and several of those states already have January deadlines for February 1 coverage. But that very same Congress left the rest of the law intact.

The case, Texas v. Since the 1790s, the federal courts have never had the authority to give legal advice; they are obliged constitutionally to decide genuine "cases or controversies" - actual, real-world lawsuits. "The marketplaces are still open for business, and we will continue with open enrollment".

Not long after that, a key official tweeted: "There is no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan".

Federal judge rules the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. "Great news for America!"

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth issued the ruling late Friday, on the eve of the final day of open enrollment for ACA coverage. The judge found that the "myriad parts" of the law are all interconnected.

Even if you don't have an Obamacare health plan, experts say there are far-reaching implications for all consumers if the decision is allowed to stand.

Schumer spoke out on Meet the Press Sunday morning, pledging that his top priority when Congress returns from its holiday recess will be to pass a law preserving the Affordable Care Act, even though Schumer remains in the minority in the Senate.

Friday's decision could also give a boost to liberal Democrats who won hotly contested races running as advocates of "Medicare for all".

Although the Friday ruling is a win for Republicans, it could put Obamacare front and center in the 2020 presidential elections.

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