With just hours until the deadline to sign up for the Affordable Care Act, a legal battle is looming after a North Texas judge ruled it unconstitutional.
Judge Reed O'Connor, a federal judge in Fort Worth, struck down the entire law over its mandate requiring people to buy health insurance.
Despite the decision, it was business as usual Saturday at the Community Council of Greater Dallas.
In the past few days, workers said they'd helped dozens of people sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said the ACA covers about 315,000 people in North Texas. More than 12 million are enrolled nationwide.
"It [the ruling] affects the millions and millions of people with preexisting conditions health care coverage," Jenkins said.
The decision declaring the ACA unconstitutional came three months after a hearing at a Fort Worth Federal Courthouse where Texas and 19 Republican-led states argued to end the ACA.
Their claim: That the ACA still required Americans to buy health insurance, but Congress last year dropped the penalty if people don't buy it.
"So our argument is without it generating revenue for the federal government, then that provision is unconstitutional and the entirety of the Affordable Care Act fails," said Robert Henneke, an attorney representing Texas, in September.
The judge agreed writing "the individual mandate is unconstitutional" and the rest of the law cannot stand without it.
Jenkins said he believed the ruling would not stand.
"The judge that ruled that is actually a friend of mine and I, respectfully, I just think he's dead wrong here," he said.
For now, the ruling doesn't impact health care coverage.
Jenkins is imploring people to still sign up and continue to pay premiums.
He's also urging lawmakers to go back to the drawing board.
"Republicans in Washington, fix this problem. Work the Democrats in Congress fix this problem that you created," Jenkins said.
ACA advocates have already promised an appeal to the ruling in a case likely to end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.
Midnight is the deadline to apply for insurance under the ACA.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a statement applauding the decision.
President Trump tweeted the ruling is "Great news for America."