Former President Barack Obama's signature policy initiative, the Affordable Care Act, was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge in Texas on Friday, but the ruling won't change the health-care coverage for millions of Americans — at least not right now and maybe not ever.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said it will continue enforcing "all aspects of the ACA."
The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor of Texas doesn't block the ACA, for now, and will likely be appealed to a higher court.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who led a group of 16 Democratic state attorneys general defending the ACA, said Friday they intend to challenge the ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. The process could take several months, and the decision could potentially go all the way to the Supreme Court.
"The most important thing is nothing changes for consumers," in the short term, said Andy Slavitt, a former administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under the Obama administration. "This (case) is to going to go on and likely drag on for a couple of years."