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A federal judge in Texas has ruled that the entirety of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional — from protections for pre-existing conditions, to Medicaid expansion, to coverage for preventive services at no co-pay including birth control. 

The most important thing to know about this ruling is that it did not include an injunction, and the law therefore remains in effect. You can still sign up for the ACA. The deadline in California is January 15.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who is leading a group of states trying to stop this attack on the ACA, has already made clear he will appeal this ruling to the 5th Circuit.

Statement from Dr. Leana Wen, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America: “This ruling cannot and must not stand. This would take away health care for millions and is a direct attack on anyone who can’t afford basic health care. As an emergency physician, I’ve seen what it means when people are forced to delay care or go without regular health exams. It means the difference between having a lump in your breast examined, and dying of metastatic cancer. It’s the difference between having an infection treated with antibiotics, or an amputation after serious infection. This would especially harm those who already face systemic barriers to care like people with low income, people of color, people living in rural areas, and immigrant communities. When politicians tried to gut the ACA in Congress, people organized, mobilized, and stopped them in their tracks. And they made their voices loud and clear in the midterm elections. People want more health care, not less, and we will fight back with everything we’ve got.”

Regardless of this ruling, the ACA is still the law of the land, and millions of people can continue to have access to health care because of it. As we move forward, we will continue to update this story.


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