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Local advocates say recent ACA ruling won’t stand

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Millions of Americans, including tens of thousands here in Utah, are wondering what will happen to their healthcare after a federal judge struck down the Affordable Care Act.

Our state joined a coalition of others to file the lawsuit.

A federal judge in Texas sided with that coalition, saying the controversial law is unconstitutional.

But, local advocates say the ruling is weak and won’t go anywhere.

Late Friday night, the judge struck down the individual mandate, mandatory coverage for pre-existing conditions and all other elements of Obamacare.

It could also have an impact on Proposition 3, just passed by Utah voters.

President Trump says it’s an opportunity.

“If the Republicans and the Democrats get together, we are going to end up with incredible healthcare, which is the way it should have been from day one. And it’s going to happen, it now has a chance to happen,” Trump said.

But, for now, there will be no immediate changes to the law.

“We expect everything to go on as business as usual,” said Matt Slonaker.

Slonaker is with Utah Health Policy Project, a local advocacy group funded by the ACA.

He believes the ruling will be overturned on appeal.

“I think this court’s opinion, in Texas, is part of a long line of attacks on the Affordable Care Act. And frankly, I think this is the weakest attack on the Affordable Care Act. It’s based upon a very faulty legal reasoning,” Slonaker said.

Slonaker says he’d like to see lawmakers work together to modify the law.

“Affordability for those in a little bit higher income categories is a very big concern and I think that needs to be fixed, a few other things, the family glitch is unfair, it needs to be fixed.”

But, he isn’t sure that can happen in today’s environment.

Open enrollment ended on Saturday. The latest numbers show 97,931 Utahns signed up, about 6% less than the same time last year.

Final numbers should be out in a couple of weeks.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 Utah team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 Utah News at 4 Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time.. Read More...

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