Skip to Content

Filter by:

Washington Highlights

Texas Judge Rules ACA Unconstitutional

December 21, 2018—The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas ruled Dec. 14 that once the penalty for failing to maintain minimum coverage is reduced to zero on Jan. 1, 2019, the individual mandate provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152) will be unconstitutional. The court further ruled that the individual mandate could not be severed from the remaining provisions of the ACA, thereby invalidating the entire law. The judge sided with the 18 Republican state attorneys general and two Republican governors’ argument that once Congress repealed the individual mandate, the entire ACA was invalid.

In a statement following the ruling, AAMC President and CEO Darrell G. Kirch, MD, expressed dismay, saying, “The AAMC and its member medical schools and teaching hospitals strongly disagree with the district judge’s ruling. As we stated in an amicus brief filed jointly with several national hospital associations, dismantling the ACA will be disastrous for the nation’s health care system.”

Kirch described the potential consequences for the nation’s health, noting, “Patients — particularly those with preexisting and complex conditions — require stability and continuity in their care. Without access to affordable meaningful coverage, many would forego or delay necessary medical care. This ruling puts millions of Americans, including the most vulnerable patients, at risk.” 

The court Dec. 18 ordered the parties to file additional briefs by Dec. 26 on whether a stay of the Dec. 14 order is warranted and whether the court should take further action to allow the parties to file an appeal.


Len Marquez
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-862-6281


envelope on a green background

Subscribe to Washington Highlights

RSS icon

Subscribe to RSS

Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

Past Issues

For More Information

Jason Kleinman
Senior Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806