U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor, who struck down Obamacare earlier this month, issued an order on Sunday stating that the Affordable Care Act will remain in place during the appeal process, The Hill reported.
In issuing his order, O’Connor said he made the decision “because many everyday Americans would otherwise face great uncertainty during the pendency of appeal,” Bloomberg reported.
O’Connor ruled several weeks ago that Obamacare’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, and since the mandate cannot be separated from the rest of the law, the entire Affordable Care Act is also invalid, according to The Hill.
O’Connor based his ruling on the fact that the Supreme Court in 2012 upheld the mandate to have coverage because of Congress’s power to tax. However, Congress has since removed the fine for failing to comply with the mandate, which means it is no longer a tax and thus unconstitutional.
Following O’Connor’s ruling, 17 attorneys general pledged that they would appeal the decision and also asked the judge to issue an order clarifying that Obamacare must be enforced at the federal and state level while the case goes to a higher court.
They stressed that his ruling had created confusion about whether the Affordable Care Act will be unenforceable once the repeal of the individual mandate takes effect on January 1.