Former President Barack Obama reassured Americans that the fight isn’t over for Obamacare after a Texas judge ruled the law unconstitutional, according to the Daily Mail. In a statement on Twitter, Obama urged people to enroll in insurance before the deadline closed on December 15, and said that the only way to improve health care in the United States is to vote for people who will fight to do so.
On Thursday, a federal judge in Texas struck down the entire Affordable Care Act, as Obamacare is formally known. In the ruling, Judge Reed O’Connor, a former President George W. Bush appointee, said that without the individual mandate, which Republicans voted to repeal earlier this year, the law is no longer constitutional under congress’s power to enact taxes on citizens.
The ruling came just as the deadline for Obamacare registration loomed, causing confusion about whether registration would continue as normal. People also expressed concerns that they would no longer be covered under their existing plans.
But Obama reassured people that the law is still on the books and it will be years yet until a final determination is made.
“It’s so important for you to know that last night’s ruling changes nothing for now,” Obama wrote. “As this decision makes its way through the courts, which will take months, if not years, the law remains in place and will likely stay that way. A lot of good people are fighting to ensure that nothing about your care will change.”
At the same time, he urged people to vote for representatives who would fight to improve health care, rather than attempting to dismantle the protections already in place.
“The only way to convince them to stop trying to repeal this law, and start working to make health care better, is to keep voting, in big numbers, in every election, for people who’ll protect and improve our care,” Obama said in his statement.
Today is the last day of open enrollment. That means it’s the deadline to make sure you and the people you love have health insurance in 2019. So head over to https://t.co/ob1Ynoesod to get covered! Here’s what else you need to know today about health care: pic.twitter.com/gosn6c6uCa
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 15, 2018
Obama was joined by numerous other Democrats, who called the ruling a “stunning display of judicial activism” and an “assault” on Americans who rely on Obamacare for coverage and those with preexisting conditions.
President Donald Trump, on the other hand, celebrated the decision, saying that now people “will be able to get great healthcare,” though he offered no details on how the ruling would help accomplish this. He also said that he wouldn’t discuss healthcare policies with Democrats until the Supreme Court reviewed the case.
Republicans have worked to repeal the law repeatedly, without success. It is now likely that the ruling will be appealed at the Supreme Court.