Donald Trump's Reaction To The Affordable Care Act Being Ruled Unconstitutional By A Texas Judge Is Celebratory
After a federal judge in Texas ruled that the Affordable Care Act's individual coverage mandate is unconstitutional on Friday, Dec. 14 — which effectively called the entire ACA into question — President Donald Trump headed to Twitter to revel in the news. Donald Trump's reaction to the Affordable Care Act being ruled unconstitutional seems to show that he's ready to celebrate, although a group of states have already promised to appeal the decision.
On Friday, District Judge Reed O'Connor deemed that the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional due to changes that were made to the individual mandate one year earlier, per CNN. In 2017, the Republican-controlled Congress voted to eliminate the act's individual mandate penalty (which previously required Americans to sign up for health insurance or pay a fee) as part of that year's 2017 tax reform bill, per Reuters.
However, getting rid of the penalty and making changes to the original Affordable Care Act has now made that part of it void as well as the rest of the act, according to O'Connor's ruling. He found in favor of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and a group of 20 Republican lawmakers who argued that the 2017 elimination of the penalty — which is set to go into effect next year — called the legality of the mandate itself into question. According to O'Connor's ruling, the "Individual Mandate can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress's Tax Power and is still impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause—meaning the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional." He also stated that the mandate is "essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA," per CNN. Elite Daily reached out the Attorney General Paxton's office for comment on the ruling but did not hear back at the time of publication.
President Trump took to Twitter as the news broke on Dec. 14, writing, "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!"
Trump continued, "Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!"
Elite Daily reached out to the White House for further comment on and clarification of his tweets about Friday's ruling, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
Considering that the ruling threatens the Affordable Care Act's current protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, per CNN, and the fact that the 2017 tax reform amendment, which was led by the Republican-controlled Congress, is what made the ACA "unconstitutional," Trump's tweet has left many scratching their heads. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for clarification on the President's comments on pre-existing conditions, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
While the ruling against the ACA is a blow to the millions of Americans who have signed up for healthcare through the program as well as the approximately 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, it is unlikely that the changes will go into effect soon as California and other defendant states are already planning to appeal the decision in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, according to The New York Times.
"Today’s ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the A.C.A.’s consumer protections for health care, on America’s faithful progress toward affordable health care for all Americans," Xavier Becerra, the California attorney general, said in a statement. "The A.C.A. has already survived more than 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts and withstood scrutiny in the Supreme Court." Elite Daily reached out to Attorney General Becerra for further comment on the ruling and appealing the decision, but did not hear back at the time of publication.
On Friday, the White House shared a separate statement that acknowledged the backlash to the ruling, according to The New York Times. "We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court," the statement read. "Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place."
The future of the Affordable Care Act may be uncertain, but it sounds like the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the defendant states aren't planning on letting it be repealed without a fight.