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The Texas ACA decision: The legal, practical & political implications




Justin Huang helps a client sign up for a health insurance program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, at the offices of the Midwest Asian Health Association in the Chinatown neighborhood on December 15, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.
Justin Huang helps a client sign up for a health insurance program under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, at the offices of the Midwest Asian Health Association in the Chinatown neighborhood on December 15, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

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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

Guests:

Jill Horwitz, professor of law at UCLA where her areas of research include the Affordable Care Act

Ilya Somin, professor of law at George Mason University and contributor to “The Volokh Conspiracy” blog at Reason.com, where he has written legal analysis about the ruling; he tweets @IlyaSomin



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