ObamaCare unconstitutional? What to know

A controversial new ruling from a Texas court on the Affordable Care Act could land President Barack Obama’s health care law at the center of a Supreme Court case.

On Friday, a federal judge declared ObamaCare unconstitutional, following a Republican challenge.

President Trump, who has made no secret of his desire to dismantle the health care law, said on Twitter Monday that if the ruling is upheld he would be open to working with Democrats on a replacement.

Here’s what you need to know about the new ruling:

What happened?

The ObamaCare individual mandate requires that all Americans obtain health care coverage or face a penalty – a policy previously upheld in the Supreme Court as an enforceable tax.

Last year, Republicans – while attempting to repeal ObamaCare – ended up getting rid of the penalty.

Twenty states, including Texas, filed a case claiming that without the penalty, the mandate can no longer be upheld as a tax. On top of that, they said if the mandate is struck down, the entire law should be nullified because the provision is so vital.

The Texas judge ruled in favor of those arguments.

Status of the law

ObamaCare will not immediately be nullified. In order for that to happen, the judge would have had to issue an injunction prohibiting enforcement of the law.

The case is expected to be appealed by Democrats and will likely have a lengthy shelf life in court before any action is taken.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins from Maine told CNN over the weekend that she thinks the ruling will be overturned.

Open enrollment

The HealthCare.gov website clearly notes that the court decision will not affect 2019 enrollment or coverage.

While open enrollment closed in many major markets over the weekend, some final deadlines are pending. You can still enroll for coverage on any open exchanges.

Americans are still able to sign up in states, including California, Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island.

You can check your state’s deadline on the site.

What’s next?

Most people, including those in the White House, expect the appeals process will land the case before the Supreme Court.

It is unclear how long that process will take.