Obamacare Ruled Unconstitutional; But Coverage Intact For Now

A Texas federal judge ruled the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) unconstitutional on Dec 14 2018. For now nothing changes. However, there could be real consequences down the road.[1][2]

UPDATE: The Judge officially ordered a stay, thus for now the ACA will remain in effect while the ruling is appealed.

UPDATE: The Department of Justice (DOJ) has affirmed their support for the ruling. This means that this case will stand as it makes its way through the appeals process in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.

UPDATE: The DOJ filed a motion to expedite oral arguments in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals where appeals will be heard on the ruling. This means the resolution to the appeals could be known sooner rather than later.

TIP: Whichever side loses the cases is expected to appeal to the Supreme Court. So although the outcome of this is important, the likely outcome of a Supreme Court case on the issue will be the final word and the most important aspect of the outcome.

Here is the deal:

A group of 20 states with Republican governors and/or legislatures argued that the ACA’s individual mandate wasn’t constitutional since Congress removed the tax penalty for going without insurance.

The logic is the 2012 Supreme Court case that had attempted to prove the mandate was unconstitutional relied on the mandate’s fee to show the constitutionality of the ACA by showing that Congress has a right to tax.

However, without an effective mandate, the “the mandate is a tax; and Congress has the power to tax” argument falls apart.

With that said, not only did Texas U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor agree with the 20 states, he ruled that the entire ACA was unconstitutional (not just the mandate).

This doesn’t mean the ACA is repealed however. Instead, the decision is being appealed and it will likely lead to a lengthy legal battle that makes its way all the way to the Supreme Court (it could take months or even years).

Thus far neither side has backed down with the Trump administration (including the DOJ) siding fully with the Courts and with Democratic party AGs supporting the law in the Courts.

For now, the ACA stands as is while a legal battle plays out (that means there is still assistance, still protections, still open enrollment, etc). 

However, once the legal process fully concludes the result could be that the ACA, meaning all of its provisions including pre-existing conditions protections, ends.

NOTE: Even if the ACA is declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court at the end of all of this, it can still be replaced by Congress in part or in whole via legislation. However, depending on the outcome there could be a gap in-between a replacement and the law becoming ineffective. We will keep you up to date as the story unfolds. See the links above for additional details and updates.

Article Citations
  1. Federal judge rules Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, but appeal will leave coverage intact for now. USAToday.com.
  2. A federal judge has ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. So now what happens? USAToday.com.

Author: Thomas DeMichele

Thomas DeMichele is the head writer and founder of ObamaCareFacts.com, FactsOnMedicare.com, and other websites. He has been in the health insurance and healthcare information field since 2012. ObamaCareFacts.com is a...

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Odumbass care is a disaster! We were told “if you like your doctor, you can keep them” – lie #1. “The ACA will lower premiums on average $2,500 per year” – lie #2, etc. etc. The ACA is totally unconstitutional and it’s very sad that the supreme court had to give in to political pressure to say otherwise. Not one republican congress person voted for it and many demon-crats had to be BRIBED in order to vote for it! With any luck, the ACA will be repealed. One solution might be to raise the income limits for Medicaid and require that ALL providers accept it. They could even create low cost Medicaid plans, such as they have with the CHIP program. The ACA was just a power grab by the Feds and should NEVER have happened. God bless America and stay healthy!


Some of these companies are taking a vantage of their employees by using the affordable care act there should be some kind of monitor system to make sure this doesn’t happen.


I don’t think Obama care is fair I can’t afford Obamacare and I’ve got to pay my medical bills plus the penalty for your medical bills that’s bullshit If it is found unconstitutional we need to get refunded for the penalty for not having health care


the judiciaire is now politicised in the States. Is it going to teks a second civil war – or révolution – to did yourselves of the cuckoo you should per have let into the White House who’s throwing everything out of the nest your founders created as an escape from tyrannie? A self-trumpeted false prophet leading mindless minions … read millions fronde by the
GOP couards in Congress. The rest of the world sees clearly enough what’s at the end of your nose. God save America.


The ACA (Obamacare) has and is still UNSUSTAINABLE! Ask yourself: Why did the yearly deficit hit a trillion dollars a year while Obama AND Trump was/is President? Because Obamacare cost a trillion dollars a year and we weren’t bringing in enough $ to sustain it. Not only that, it cost depleting the military! So what do we do??
1.) Raise taxes on corporations, the rich, and the middle class to bring in enough $ to support the ACA. Outcome: Possible recession and/or corporations & rich leaving U.S. Less pay more.
2.) Lower taxes on Corporations & businesses to bring enough $ to support the ACA. Outcome: Raise production, JOBS, income to workers & families, GDP, stock market, etc. More pay less.


Obama care what a joke and to all people who think Medicare for all is great.screw you nothing is free dumb ass unless your illegal immigrants. I’m self employed and insurance was gonna cost me over 5000 a month. How is that affordable? Then gonna fine me around 2000 if I didn’t have it.


I think Obama really screwed up this country with shitty Obama care crud. How in America do you force someone to buy health care and then fine them if they don’t have it. Sounds unconstitutional to me. How do they think people like my wife and m


Hooray for Obamacare @ Expand it into.Medicare for all!


I think that the additional taxes paid for not having health insurance should be refunded to the taxpayer. Why should the government tell you that you have to purchase a certain product; When I was between jobs, I went without health insurance, that was a gamble that I was willing to take, being a single parent, I had other items I wished to use my money to purchase. Now my son only has a part-time job that offers no health insurance. He did not have it in 2018 and so instead of getting a tax refund of $400.00, he will have to pay $211.00. Try living on $15009.00 for a year and purchasing health insurance


As a tax professional who works with many low income clients and many middles income clients, I can easily say the the ACA is not helping. The very low income families are still on state Medicaid plans because of ACA minimum income requirements. So no improvement or help for “those who most need it”. Those who meet the requirement find the plans to expensive and deductible too high. Essentially they don’t have working insurance, just an added expense in their lives. This is not to say those of us on “traditional plans” are also not getting killed with worthless plans.
Typical government solution to a problem was to make it a bigger problem!
We need to get rid of major medical mandates and go back to allowing hospitalization plans only again. Major medical should be an option not a requirement. The bureaucracy and administration involved in processing all the claims for every doctor visit in this country is eating up our money and exponentially increasing the cost of health care.
No solution was offered to standardize the claims procedure for all providers. This alone would reduce administration cost significantly. Anyone who works in the medical services industry will certainly attest to this statement.
We need a constitutional amendment to allow providers to cross state lines with one policy. Currently Insurance is still “technically” regulated by the states as provided for in the constitution. Thus large providers have to create separate companies for each state and abide by each states regulations in addition to Federal regulations for medicare patients.
I’ll throw in tort reform for good measure too. Although this issue has been beat to death with no real results. Doctors aren’t miracle workers and they certainly aren’t gods. They make errors and are just wrong sometimes, just like all other professionals. We need to stop playing the malpractice lottery. This practice of suing for unwanted results has led to the micro-specialization of medical providers. Which really is to spread the liability around to combat lawsuits. The results is patients now need to go to several different providers for medical help, which increases administration, provider fees and confusion among all. Of course real negligence is not to be excused or accepted. Finding the balance is the challenge, but I doubt it will be found by us continuing to elect lawyers as politicians, (the industry that profits from lawsuits).
Drug reform would also help with cost reductions. This is a complicated subject and one that I won’t go into detail with at this time. The easiest and simplest cost reduction in the pharmaceutical industry is to stop the advertising and marketing of drugs. The money spent on marketing by this industry in insane. The things they do to get doctors to prescribe their products is ridiculous and should also be restricted. Just this once simple action would reduce the costs of drugs to the consumer significantly. Everyone should do some basic research on this subject. They would be very surprised! These companies are worse than the cartels when it comes to pushing their drugs!
No political party bias here, just common sense which eludes both parties.


This is how Obamacare worked for me. When I signed up my premiums were $127.00 per month with a $5000.00 annual deductible. There were 3 premium increases in the first year, bringing my monthly out of pocket premium to $167.00. I needed a surgery to repair a hernia. The bill for that surgery was approximately $3700.00. Which because my $5000.00 deductible wasn’t met, I had to pay for myself. That year when I filed my federal income tax, $750.00 of my $1100.00 return was garnished for the “tax credit” to pay part of my monthly premiums. Here are the #’s for my “affordable health care” Annual premium $2004.00- $5000.00 annual deductible-$750.00 Tax credit Total annual cost.$7754.00 before any coverage begins. My annual taxable income is approximately $30,000.00 How is $7,754.00 out of pocket for insurance that leaves me to pay for a $3700.00 surgery affordable. I can’t afford your “affordable health care” I look forward to your reply….


this is just a game the republicans are playing to take away health care from those who most need it. another cruelty from Trump and the GOP

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