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Federal Judge Finds Core Affordable Care Act Provisions Unconstitutional

A Texas federal judge reportedly found the core provisions of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional in a Friday evening decision, just before the end of the six-week open enrollment period. According to Bloomberg, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor agreed with a coalition of 19 states who claimed that Congress’ repeal of the ACA’s tax penalty “eliminated” the Supreme Court’s “rationale” for finding the law constitutional in 2012. The coalition, led by Texas, also claimed to have been “harmed” by the increasing number of people enrolling in “state-supported insurance.” Justice Department lawyers reportedly urged the judge to only strike down certain aspects of the law, like the individual mandate and the provisions regarding preexisting conditions, but keep the rest of the law intact. Bloomberg reports the decision is likely to be appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court.