The Texas federal judge who recently ruled that the Affordable Care Act’s individual coverage mandate was unconstitutional, issued an order Sunday which said that the health law will remain in effect during appeal despite the previous ruling.
Federal District Judge Reed O’Connor said in his ruling that “many everyday Americans would otherwise face great uncertainty during the pendency of appeal.”
The latest order also allows the coalition of Democratic states defending the law to appeal the previous ruling, which said that the individual mandate of Obamacare, as the ACA is known, made the entire law unconstitutional.
At the time of the original ruling, O’Connor did not issue an injunction to stop federal and state governments from enforcing the law, but the decision, nonetheless, put in question the future of health coverage for millions of Americans on Obamacare and Medicaid.
The ruling further threatened to wipe away popular protections for those with pre-existing conditions, as well as measures which let children stay on their parents’ policies until age 26 and allow many Americans to access free preventive tests and birth control, CNN informs.
The states defending the law, led by California, demanded that O’Connor issue a new order making it clear that ACA will stay in effect while the appeal process plays out. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra also asked the court to take the legal steps necessary to allow the states to appeal the decision “expeditiously.”
“We’ve always said we’re going to protect the health care of Americans and make clear that the ACA is the law of the land. Today the judge granted what we asked for when we filed our expedited motion but at the end of the day, we’re working to keep health care affordable and accessible to millions of Americans, so we march forward,” he said.