Federal judge strikes down Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter, Dane Sager Kelly - Web Producer

WASHINGTON - U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth sided with the argument put forward by a coalition of Republican-leaning states, led by Texas, that the Affordable Care Act could no longer stand now that there's no penalty for Americans who don't buy insurance.

This comes the day before the Saturday deadline to enroll in the ACA. The ruling will not affect the deadline or the ability to enroll and does not include an injunction, so the ACA will continue while the legalities of the ruling are decided on. 

Twenty states with Republican attorney generals brought the lawsuit, but Michigan was not one of them. 

The ruling will be appealed to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which will turn it over to the Supreme Court.

States who fought the Republican effort to undercut the ACA vowed to keep fighting.

"Today’s ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA for health care, and on America’s faithful progress toward affordable health care for all Americans,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said. 

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