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Trump pushes for new health law after ruling

Sunday, December 16, 2018

WASHINGTON (AP) — After a federal judge ruled that the Obama-era health overhaul was “invalid,” President Donald Trump is looking to congressional leaders to come up with a replacement even as the White House says the current law will remain in place for now.

“Get it done!” the president instructed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the likely House speaker in January.

Legal appeals are expected to reach the Supreme Court on an issue that helped propel Democrats to their new majority in the House in the recent midterm elections.

In a 55-page opinion Friday, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Texas ruled that last year’s tax cut bill knocked the constitutional foundation from under the Affordable Care Act by eliminating a penalty for not having coverage. He wrote that the rest of the law cannot be separated from that provision and therefore was invalid.

Supporters of the law said they would appeal. “Today’s misguided ruling will not deter us: Our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and wellbeing of all Americans,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading a coalition of states defending the overhaul.

The White House applauded the ruling by O’Connor, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, and said that “pending the appeal process, the law remains in place.”

Trump tweeted that “Obamacare has been struck down as an UNCONSTITUTIONAL disaster!” and said it was not up to Congress to “pass a STRONG law that provides GREAT healthcare and protects pre-existing conditions.”

While congressional Republicans held their silence in reaction to the ruling, Democrats said they would test the GOP’s commitment to such popular provisions.