A U.S. federal judge in Texas ruled on Friday that the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, is unconstitutional, a decision that was likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth agreed with a coalition of 20 states that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance invalidated the entire Obamacare law.
O’Connor’s decision was issued the day before the end of a 45-day sign-up period for 2019 health coverage under the law.
About 11.8 million consumers nationwide enrolled in 2018 Obamacare exchange plans, according to the U.S. government’s Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
The coalition of states challenging the law was led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, both Republicans.
Republicans have opposed the 2010 law, the signature domestic policy achievement of President Donald Trump’s Democratic predecessor Barack Obama, since its inception and have repeatedly tried and failed to repeal it.
The White House hailed Friday’s ruling, but said the law would remain in place pending its expected appeal to the Supreme Court.
“Once again, the president calls on Congress to replace Obamacare and act to protect people with preexisting conditions and provide Americans with quality affordable healthcare,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
In June, the Justice Department declared the healthcare law’s “individual mandate” unconstitutional in federal court. The decision was a break with a long-standing executive branch practice of defending existing statutes in court.
A year ago, Trump signed a $1.5 trillion tax bill that included a provision eliminating the individual mandate.
‘Go look at President Trump’s Twitter’: Portland right-wing rally organizer claims ‘mission success’
The organizer of a far-right rally in Portland, Oregon claimed the event was a "success" after President Donald Trump attacked Portlandiers protesting the group.
"A confluence of protesters on opposite ends of the ideological spectrum merged on Portland’s waterfront Saturday in a tense but relatively uneventful face-off that brought national attention, including a tweet in the hours before the protest by President Trump decrying the city’s signature anti-fascist movement," the Oregonian reported Saturday.
When a similar right-wing rally in Charlottesville, Virginia killed Heather Heyer, Trump argued there were "fine people" on both sides of the "Unite the Right" rally.
Why was Jeffrey Epstein buying size 5 women’s panties — while in jail?
The Miami Herald has another bombshell report on Jeffrey Epstein, who died in a Manhattan jail while waiting to stand trial on federal sex crimes charges.
"A decade ago, during a brief stint in Palm Beach County Jail, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein made an odd purchase at the facility’s store: two pairs of small women’s panties, size 5," the Herald reported Saturday night.
The newspaper noted, "the panties raise questions about why a childless male inmate, accused of sexually abusing girls as young as 14, would be allowed to buy female undergarments so small that they wouldn’t fit an average-sized adult woman."
White nationalist Republican ridiculed after only 2 people show up for his town hall meeting
Embattled Rep. Steve King (R-IA) suffered further humiliation on Saturday when only two people showed up for his town hall meeting with Iowa constituents.
King, who was stripped of all committee assignments for his white nationalism, was been an embarrassment for Republicans with his constant racism and misogyny.
A photo of the town hall meeting was posted on Twitter by Reuters photo editor Corinne Perkins.
Rep. King was quickly mocked in the comments.
Here's some of what people were saying: