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Pa. AG Shapiro: 'I Will Continue To Enforce Affordable Care Act'

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – After a federal judge in Texas ruled that former President Barack Obama's signature Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, is unconstitutional, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the ruling will not affect Pennsylvanians.

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(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"Pennsylvanians should be assured that I will continue to enforce the ACA's vital protections for individuals with preexisting conditions," Shapiro said in a statement. "Because Pennsylvania chose not to be a party to this lawsuit, we are not bound by this decision, and I will not let one misguided judge in Texas prevent us from protecting the residents of the Commonwealth.

"Since I was sworn in as Attorney General nearly two years ago, I have fought to protect Pennsylvanians against any attempt to rollback their health coverage. I will continue to fight any effort to deny our residents the protections guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act – whether that attack comes from the Trump Administration, insurance companies, or a federal jurist."

The judge ruled that last year's tax overhaul, which eliminated the penalty for not having coverage, knocked the constitutional foundation out from under the ACA.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and West Virginia Gov. Jo Manchin both condemned the decision.

"This misguided and inhumane ruling will kick millions of Americans and tens of thousands of West Virginians off of their health insurance," Manchin said in a statement. "West Virginians with pre-existing conditions will be at risk of losing their health insurance. And the thousands of West Virginians who gained health insurance through the Medicaid expansion will no longer qualify. This ruling is just plain wrong. I look forward to its appeal to a higher court, and I intend to fight to ensure that the Senate has an opportunity to intervene to defend these critical health safeguards. I urge West Virginia's Attorney General to withdraw from this dangerous lawsuit on behalf of the tens of thousands of West Virginians who will be harmed.

"(Friday's) ruling is yet another example of why the Senate must come together to pass bipartisan legislation that makes commonsense fixes to our current system. Protecting West Virginians healthcare has always been my top priority and I will continue to fight for every West Virginian's access to quality, affordable health insurance."

President Donald Trump tweeted after the decision calling it, "Great news for America!"

The law will remain in place while the ruling goes through the appeals process, which may include a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court.

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