Barack Obama reminded people that Saturday was the last day to sign up for Obamacare, and declared that a Texas federal judge’s ruling striking down the law making the insurance possible will “likely” not prevail.
Saturday is “the deadline to make sure you and the people you love have health insurance in 2019. So head over the HealthCare.gov to get covered!” Obama tweeted. He added that “it’s so important for you to know” that the ruling Friday by U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor declaring the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional “changes nothing for now.”
As “this decision makes it way through the courts, which will take months, if not years, the law remains in place and will likely stay that way,” he added. “Open enrollment is proceeding as planned today. A good way to show that you’re tired of people trying to take away your health care is to go get covered.”
O’Connor issued his decision in response to a lawsuit by Republican officials in 20 states led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. The judge agreed with the suit’s argument that the law should be struck down because Congress last year repealed the tax penalty that enforced a mandate that most Americans get health insurance. But because O’Connor issued no injunction against the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare will continue to operate as the decision is appealed.
President Donald Trump hailed the decision as “great news for America,” boasting that Congress will now create a “great” health care plan, though that will likely be difficult if large numbers of the pool of uninsured Americans opt not to pay for insurance.
If O’Connor’s ruling stands, it would deal a major blow to the U.S. health care system. According to an analysis by the Urban Institute, eliminating the Affordable Care Act, which was passed in 2010, would increase the numbers of uninsured by 50 percent with an additional 17 million people having no health coverage.
The Supreme Court upheld the law in 2012 and in 2015. It was modified by Congress in 2017 to eliminate the tax penalty for most Americans who refused to obtain health insurance. The law could now be headed to the top court for the third time.