US President Donald Trump reacted quickly on Friday night to a ruling by a federal judge in Texas that Obamacare was unconstitutional.
“Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!” Trump wrote on Twitter, shortly after the ruling by US District Judge Reed O’Connor in a lawsuit brought by a coalition of states, led by Texas.
In another tweet he said, “As I predicted all along, Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster! Now Congress must pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions. Mitch and Nancy, get it done!”
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.
O’Connor, of the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth, agreed with the plaintiffs that he had to eviscerate the Affordable Care Act after Congress last year zeroed out a key provision — the tax penalty for not complying with the requirement to buy insurance.
His decision is almost certain to be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.
Trump campaigned against the Affordable Care Act, signed into law by President Barack Obama, but failed to repeal it in Congress. After the Democratic House victory in the Midterm elections last month, McConnell said that another repeal effort was likely off the table.
In an interview with Bloomberg News before the election, McConnell defended the lawsuit, though it had become a problem for Republican candidates in the campaign for control of Congress.
“Our candidates are able to deal with it,” McConnell said regarding a barrage of Democratic ads criticizing his party’s candidates on the issue. “There’s nobody in the Senate that I’m familiar with who is not in favor of coverage of pre-existing conditions.”
Pelosi, in a statement released on Friday night, said, “The GOP Congress tried and failed to destroy the Affordable Care Act and protections for pre-existing conditions. Then, in the midterm election, the American people delivered a record-breaking margin of almost 10 million votes against House Republicans’ vile assault on health care.”
“Now,” she added in the statement, “the district court ruling in Republicans’ lawsuit seeks to subvert the will of the American people and sow chaos in the final day of HealthCare.gov open enrollment.”
First Published: Dec 15, 2018 09:55 IST
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