People can still enroll in an Obamacare health insurance plan for 2019, but the last day to sign up is at hand: by midnight Pacific time Saturday or by 3 a.m. Eastern time Sunday.
Until then, you can enroll for coverage by visiting HealthCare.gov here.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor dealt a serious blow to Obamacare on Friday, ruling that the 2010 Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional without the penalties for the law’s individual mandate, the penalty fee on those who chose to remain uninsured that was eliminated as part of the tax-cut law President Donald Trump signed earlier this year.
While O’Connor’s ruling marks an uncertain moment for the millions of people who rely on Obamacare for health insurance coverage, it won’t immediately take effect.
Several Democrat-led states have already promised to appeal O’Connor’s ruling. And in a statement late Friday, the White House ensured the public that the Affordable Care Act would remain in effect as the ruling is being appealed.
“We expect this ruling will be appealed to the Supreme Court. Pending the appeal process, the law remains in place,” the statement said, according to The New York Times.
The Trump administration official who oversees the exchanges confirmed Friday that the federal government will continue to enforce the Affordable Care Act while O’Connor’s ruling is being appealed. “The recent federal court decision is still moving through the courts, and the exchanges are still open for business and we will continue with open enrollment. There is no impact to current coverage or coverage in a 2019 plan,” Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, wrote on Twitter.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led the team of Democratic state attorneys general defending Obamacare in Texas, called O’Connor’s ruling “misguided” and an “assault” on Americans.
“Today’s ruling is an assault on 133 million Americans with preexisting conditions, on the 20 million Americans who rely on the ACA for health care, and on America’s faithful progress toward affordable health care for all Americans,”Becerra said in a news release.
“The ACA has already survived more than 70 unsuccessful repeal attempts and withstood scrutiny in the Supreme Court. Today’s misguided ruling will not deter us: Our coalition will continue to fight in court for the health and wellbeing of all Americans.”