Federal judge in Texas rules the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional

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A federal judge in Texas said on Friday that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional and that the rest of the law must also fall.

Late Friday night, a federal judge in Texas ruled the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional.

"Court's decision does not affect this season's open enrollment", reads a red banner on HealthCare.gov.

In his ruling, O'Connor agreed with the plaintiffs that the individual mandate could not be severed from the rest of the Affordable Care Act because it was "the keystone" of the law, essential to its regulation of the health insurance market.

The news was celebrated by US President Donald Trump soon after it broke. "We'll have to sit down with the Democrats to do it, but I'm sure they want to do it also".

They have repeatedly tried, but failed, to repeal the law, which was the signature domestic policy achievement of former Democratic President Barack Obama. She doesn't "support pulling the rug out from under people", she said. "How many elections do you have to get battered before you find another issue?"

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Mr. Trump, who campaigned on repealing the ACA, said in a tweet that Congress must act.

Three-quarters of Americans say that it is "very important" for the law to continue prohibiting health insurers from denying coverage because of medical histories, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's September tracking poll - 58% of Republicans feel the same way.

Republicans are "going to have to figure out what to do", Holtz-Eakin said. "'We're going to do it our way.' They're going to have to get together with the Democrats in the House". Their popularity is one of the main reasons GOP lawmakers had such difficulty repealing Obamacare a year ago.

Outraged Democrats vowed to appeal a federal judge's ruling that could undo the United States health care law known as Obamacare, saying on Saturday that they will use their new power in Congress to hold Republicans responsible and "expose their lies".

He was referring to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, and Representative Nancy Pelosi, who will likely become speaker of the US House of Representatives when the Democrats take control of the chamber in January.

Supporters of the law said they would appeal the ruling.

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Democratic leaders, meanwhile, reacted harshly to the decision.

"In some ways, the question before the court involves the intent of both the 2010 and 2017 Congresses", he wrote.

According to The New York Times, the Justice Department declined to defend the individual mandate but said it would defend the provision protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions.

"The GOP spent all past year pretending to support people with pre-existing conditions while quietly trying to remove that support in the courts", Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY said in a tweet Saturday. "What will stand is Republican ownership of such a harmful and disastrous lawsuit", Schumer tweeted. "But, the case still has a long legal road to travel before that's an immediate threat".

The lawsuit was brought by conservative Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, 18 other Republican attorneys general, and one governor, the Denver Post reports.

"The legal merits of the case are frivolous", said University of MI law professor Nicholas Bagley.

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The individual mandate was a fee that people paid if they could afford health insurance but chose not to buy into it.