A judge in Texas ruled Obamacare unconstitutional in light of Congress passing a budget that excised the mandate from the original legislation.
U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth said that the Affordable Care Act passed under the aegis of former President Barack Obama became unconstitutional after the budget passed by Republicans that cut out the tax penalty for not purchasing insurance.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra decried the ruling and indicated that he intends to file an appeal immediately.
"Today's ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions," said Becerra, "on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA's consumer protections for health care, and on America's faithful progress toward affordable health care for all Americans."
Texas and nineteen other states argued that the U.S. Supreme Court had found the healthcare legislation constitutional on the basis of the existence of the mandate. Once the mandate was eradicated by Congress, they claimed, that completely undermined the constitutionality of the bill.
Judge O'Connor agreed with that reasoning Friday.
"The remainder of the ACA is non-severable from the individual mandate," O'Connor wrote in the decision, "meaning that the Act must be invalidated in whole."
"If this ruling stands, the ACA is gone, toast."
Bloomberg reporter Steven Dennis said that no Republican Senators who voted for the tax law under the belief that it would lead to Obamacare being declared unconstitutional.
"There are no senators who voted for the tax law thinking it would eliminate the ACA; it would never have passed with that understanding. Trust me, I've spoken to many, many, many senators about this."
"BUT," he added ominously, "if this ruling stands, the ACA is gone, toast."
President Donald Trump made repeal of Obamacare one of the promises he made during the 2016 campaign for the presidency, and has criticized and decried the legislation ever since.