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Despite judge's ruling, Obamacare will continue to operate as normal. Here's why.


Not so fast

(RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite a federal judge's ruling late Friday that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional and must be "invalidated as a whole," government officials said immediately following the ruling that open enrollment for health insurance under the controversial law will continue.

What are the details?

U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor, a Texas judge who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, ruled that last year's tax reform bill, which eliminated Obamacare's tax penalty for being uninsured, dismantled the law's constitutional foundation.

That's because, when the Supreme Court ruled on the law in 2012, it upheld the controversial individual mandate only under the premise that it is a tax, and is, therefore, a constitutionally-based exercise of Congress' taxing power.

"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."

Then why is open enrolling continuing?

A government spokesperson with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services told Fox News the law would continue to operate as normal during the appeal process, decrying O'Connor's decision as not the "final word."

"There is no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan," the spokesperson said.

What was the reaction to the ruling?

Some Republicans, like President Donald Trump, praised the ruling, while others were more reserved, voicing their discomfort with the fact that Republican tax reform may be what ultimately sinks former President Barack Obama's signature legislation.

Meanwhile, leading Democrats, like incoming-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), condemned the ruling.

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