The Supreme Court has twice voted (in 2012 and 2015) to keep the Affordable Care Act in place; it may soon see its third big case related to the health care law. That's because US District Court Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas has responded to a suit from 20 states that want the ACA nixed, and his response: The ACA is unconstitutional, per Politico. The health coverage of 20 million Americans is now at risk, and O'Connor's decision will spur an immediate appeal, as well as the possibility that the 2010 law will once more show up on the docket of the highest court of the land. The ruling decries as unconstitutional a key part of the ACA, per CNN: the individual mandate, which requires almost all Americans to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty fee. Not only is the individual mandate unconstitutional, O'Connor ruled, but it's "essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA."
The president made his feelings on the decision known in a pair of Friday night tweets, calling the ACA an "UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!" and imploring "Mitch and Nancy" (McConnell and Pelosi) to pass a "STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions." Per the New York Times, California AG Xavier Becerra, who's representing his state and 15 others trying to save the ACA, says in a statement the ruling is "an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA's consumer protections for health care, on America's faithful progress toward affordable health care for all Americans." While attorneys gear up for the next fight in this case, current coverage is still valid, and those hoping to sign up can still do so, a rep for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services tells Fox News. Those interested can apply on the Health.gov website until 3am EST Sunday, HuffPost notes. (Read more ObamaCare stories.)