MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - President Donald Trump praised the decision, made by Texas District Court judge Reed O’Connor, to declare the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional Saturday.
“It was a big ruling. It was a great ruling for our country. We’ll be able to get great health care,” said Trump.
A banner displayed on HealthCare.gov, the ACA’s exchange website, marked Saturday as the last day of open enrollment.
Jacy Warrell, Executive Director of Tennessee Health Care Campaign, a non-partisan/non-profit health care advocacy group, spoke to WMC on FaceTime Saturday.
“The marketplace is still open. Although the ACA is still under attack still,” said Warrell.
He said the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare, has been very successful in Tennessee. The state uninsured rate has lowered from 14 percent to 9 percent in the last 5 years.
“We got new carriers into Tennessee which meant more options which meant it lowered the cost,” said Warrell.
The Attorney General from 20 Republican led states brought the lawsuit.
O’Connor ruled in their favor, saying the ACA is unconstitutional without the individual mandate removed in last year’s congressional tax bill.
The ruling will go through an appeals process and could end up in the Supreme Court.
Warrell said if the Affordable Care Act is removed, it would have disastrous affects on Tennessee.
“About 230-thousand Tennesseeans would lose their healthcare,” said Warrell.
Tennessee Senator and chairman of the Senate’s health committee Lamar Alexander had this to say about the ruling:
"If the U.S. Supreme Court eventually were to agree that Obamacare is unconstitutional—which seems unlikely, however poorly the law was written—I am confident that any new federal law replacing it will continue to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions who buy health insurance."
The Tennessee Justice center also released a statement saying, the ruling is a monumental step backwards for Americans' health security.