News & Perspectives

Federal district court judge in Texas declares entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional

20. December 2018 Sam Fish Health

On the evening of Friday, December 14, 2018, U.S. Federal District Court Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas held, “The Court…declares the Individual Mandate (of the ACA) … unconstitutional”. In addition, the judge stated in his opinion, “Further, the Court declares the remaining provisions of the ACA…are inseverable and therefore invalid”. 

The lawsuit was instituted by 20 Republican state attorneys general who argued successfully before this court that when Congress eliminated the individual mandate penalty as part of the 2017 tax cut legislation, the legal justification for upholding the constitutionality of the individual mandate no longer existed and the entire ACA thereby was rendered unconstitutional. 

Judge O’Connor did not issue an injunction preventing the ACA from remaining in effect pending an expected appeal of the decision to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and probably ultimately to the U.S. Supreme Court.