Texas Judge Declares the Affordable Care Act Unconstitutional
A federal judge in Texas declared the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional Friday night, setting up a major legal battle of the validity of the historic 2010 law. The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land.
The decision placed no immediate injunction on the law, and has no immediate effect on the law's protections for people pre-existing conditions--including simply being transgender--or for the millions of others who have coverage because of the ACA, or its nondiscrimination provisions. The result of a lawsuit brought by state attorneys general supported by the Trump administration, the ruling is a serious threat to the health care law and will be the subject of future appeals unless Congress steps in.
The constitutionality of the law has previously been settled by the Supreme Court, with a five Justice majority securing the legal future of the law in 2014. All five of those Justices remain on the Court.
Mara Keisling, the executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, issued the following response to the ruling:
"The Affordable Care Act is not only a crucial piece of our health care system; It’s one of the most important civil rights laws in a generation. Untold lives have been saved by its expansion of coverage and its protections for pre-existing conditions. The ACA passage was a revolutionary step forward in health care access for nearly 2 million transgender people. This judge's bizarre view of the law falls far outside the legal mainstream that continues to support the ACA. The entire case is part of an administration desperate to undermine the ability of millions of Americans to access life-saving health care, but it is far from the death blow the President and his administration hoped it would be."