Texas judge's ruling on ACA expected soon: 4 things to know

A Texas judge is expected to deliver his ruling on Texas v. Azar within the next several weeks — a case with the potential to decide the fate of the ACA, according to Bloomberg.

Here are four things to know:

1. With Texas v. Azar, a coalition of 20 Republican governors and attorneys general are seeking to invalidate the ACA, arguing that the entire law is no longer applicable, as Congress eliminated part of the law that placed a penalty on people who do not have health insurance. Oral arguments for the case took place in September.

2. Some healthcare experts told Bloomberg the timing of U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor's decision on the case is critical. Should he release a decision before the Nov. 6 election, Democrats in Congress may point to the ruling as a reason to keep the ACA intact as is, hampering Republicans' repeal and replace efforts. If Mr. O'Connor issues a decision after the election, the insurance market may be thrown into chaos, as the six-week enrollment period for 2019 healthcare coverage begins Nov. 1, according to the report.

"The closer we get to the election, the more people will suspect the timing of the decision is being influenced by political considerations," Jonathan Adler, a law professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, told Bloomberg. "It's hard to avoid that speculation."

3. Several experts told the publication the election places a lot of pressure on Mr. O'Connor, though he is not under any deadline to issue a ruling.

4. Bloomberg reports Mr. O'Connor has a history of favoring conservative politics and ruled against the ACA in two past cases. In one previous case, Mr. O'Connor's ruling invalidated the ACA's health insurance provider fee, which was imposed on states to help fund the program. In the second, Mr. O'Connor ruled in favor of several states and Christian healthcare providers who argued that the ACA's regulations barring discrimination in healthcare on the basis of gender identity violated religious freedom.

To access the full report, click here.

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