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US federal judge strikes down Obamacare as unconstitutional

US President Donald J. Trump (L) sits beside Governor-elect of South Dakota Kristi Noem (R) during a meeting with governors-elect and members of his administration, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, Dec. 13, 2018. EPA-EFE/FILE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

US President Donald J. Trump (L) sits beside Governor-elect of South Dakota Kristi Noem (R) during a meeting with governors-elect and members of his administration, in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, USA, Dec. 13, 2018. EPA-EFE/FILE/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

EFE

A Texas judge on Friday ruled Obamacare , also known as the Affordable Care Act, as unconstitutional.

The law, enacted to ensure all Americans have access to affordable health insurance, was the most precious legacy of Barack Obama ‘s presidency (2009-2017).

The decision of US District Judge Reed O’Connor comes after the law was modified by Congress a few months ago during tax reform undertaken by Donald Trump , the current US President.

“Wow, but not surprisingly, ObamaCare was just ruled UNCONSTITUTIONAL by a highly respected judge in Texas. Great news for America!” Trump had tweeted.

O’Connor’s ruling comes as a response to a lawsuit filed by some 20 Republican states, including Texas, following the tax reform which had cut the penalty (of not having a health insurance) from the program, also known as the individual mandate.

O’Connor - who was appointed by former President George W Bush - said that the reform had made the individual mandate and the rest of the law unconstitutional.

The Justice Department, decided not to defend the law, in an unusual decision.

Trump had promised to “Repeal and replace” Obamacare during his presidential campaign, but failed to do so after a dramatic vote in the Congress, in which the late Republican Senator John McCain had supported the law.

The ruling has put 20 million people’s health coverage in a limbo in the US.

California Attorney General, Xavier Becerra has said that he will appeal against O’Connor’s ruling, opening a legal battle that will probably end up again in the Supreme Court, which had ruled in favor of Obamacare twice before in 2012 and in 2015.


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