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Texas Faces Deadline To File Briefs Ahead Of Hearing In Obamacare Lawsuit

Texas must turn in legal briefs to a federal appeals court today ahead of a hearing next week on the state’s effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. 

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will consider oral arguments Tuesday. The three-judge panel is reviewing the decision of a Fort Worth judge who ruled in December that the ACA is unconstitutional because Congress killed one of its major provisions, the tax penalty for people who don't have insurance.

Texas, which is  leading the multistate challenge to the health care law, has the highest uninsured rate in the country. 

"Even if you don’t an ACA plan, or ACA health insurance marketplace plan, you’re still going to be potentially affected by this ruling," said Brian Sasser, chief communications officer with the Episcopal Health Foundation.

If Obamacare is overturned, he said, preexisting conditions may not be covered and young adults under 26 may not be allowed to stay on their parents' insurance plans.

"More than a million Texans [would] lose their health insurance," Sasser said. "And these are Texans who bought an ACA Marketplace plan because it was affordable to them to buy.”

A Democratic coaltion led by California asked the Fifth Circuit to overturn the earlier ruling on the individual mandate.  

Obamacare remains in effect while the case is under appeal.

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Becky Fogel is the newscast host and producer for “Texas Standard.” She came to the show from Science Friday in New York where she produced segments on zombie microbiomes and sneaker technology. She got her start in radio at KWBU-FM in Waco and she’s happy to be back in the great state of Texas.