Obamacare ruled unconstitutional: What is next for healthcare? - FOX34 Lubbock

Obamacare ruled unconstitutional: What is next for healthcare?

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

A Texas judge ruled the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional Friday, and with Congress split again, repealing and replacing Obamacare becomes even more difficult.

U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor's ruling leaves uncertainty about the health coverage for millions of Americans.

In his opinion, the entire law is invalid without the individual mandate clause, which Congress struck out with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act earlier this year.

Ron Hettler, the president of Hettler Insurance, said it could be a while before anyone is impacted by this decision though.

In fact, he said he believes a Supreme Court decision is still a few years away.

"The ruling will likely be stayed at some point and then even if it is found to be upheld as unconstitutional at some point down the road, they're going to have to have some process to get from point A to point B," Hettler said.

However, if this ruling is upheld, and there is no other plan in place, health insurance will go back to what it was before Obamacare.

That would leave 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions vulnerable to losing coverage.

"If you had a knee replacement, you couldn't buy insurance. If you had a coronary disease of almost any type, you couldn't buy insurance. Most mental health conditions, including autism, you couldn't buy insurance. So there are a lot of things that are fairly prevalent. They're just a part of life," Hettler said.

As a result, Hettler said the marketplace would also, in essence, discriminate against people with these conditions.

"It would end up creating a two-tiered system. The two-tiered system would be for individuals, people with conditions would have to buy insurance coverage through the Texas Health Insurance Risk Pool, and those without insurance conditions would get a more affordable price," Hettler said.

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