The Affordable Care Act faces a new legal challenge after U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas ruled the law unconstitutional on Friday.
The decision risks throwing the nation's health care system into turmoil should it be upheld on appeal. The timing of the judge’s decision was on the eve of the deadline to shop for Obamacare coverage in much of the country.
Democrats vowed to fight “tooth and nail” against the judge’s ruling, which said Congress’ decision to zero out the “individual mandate” penalty for shirking insurance in the Republican tax bill, which takes effect next year, invalided the rest of the sweeping health care law.
The Affordable Care Act will remain in place while the legal battle continues, possibly to the Supreme Court.
With files from the Associated Press
Jill Horwitz, professor of law at UCLA where her areas of research include the Affordable Care Act