A federal Fort Worth judge filed a decision in a national Obamacare ruling on Friday, casting doubt on coverage for millions of Americans.
“The court recognized that the individual mandate penalty is unconstitutional, found that the entirety of the act could not be separated from the individual mandate penalty, and as a result, entered a judgment that the entirety of the Affordable Care Act is invalid,” Henneke said in an interview with the Star-Telegram on Friday.
Twenty states, including Texas, backed the lawsuit, which asked the judge to call for a cease and desist to Obamacare enforcement.
In the decision, O’Connor denied the proposed injunction but agreed with Paxton and the plaintiffs that the act is unconstitutional.
According to the judgment, the unconstitutionality of the provision makes the rest of the ACA invalid and unenforceable. The judgment could affect insurance coverage for millions of Americans, just before the end of a six-week open enrollment period for the program in 2019.
The case is the most high-profile legal challenge to “Obamacare” under President Donald Trump. On Sept. 5, the case went before O’Connor, spurring local protests at Burnett Park to demonstrate against Paxton’s lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act.
At the time, O’Connor made no immediate ruling following a four-hour hearing.
Ending the act would eliminate current protections for those with pre-existing conditions, such as pregnancy, arthritis and diabetes.
In Texas alone, there are more than 4.5 million “nonelderly adults” with pre-existing conditions that could make it hard for them to get health insurance if Obamacare went away, statistics show.