States’ Latest Obamacare Lawsuit Keeps Pressure on Washington

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DALLAS – A new lawsuit from the states argues that the tax law President Trump signed in December which revokes Obamacare’s individual mandate also makes the rest Obamacare unconstitutional.

In a statement, IPI resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews said:

“Twenty states, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, have sued the Trump administration asserting that the tax reform law, which eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to have health insurance, makes Obamacare unconstitutional. It’s a brilliant argument. 

Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the Supreme Court’s liberals in 2012, which allowed the individual mandate to stand. However, unlike the liberals, Roberts reasoned that the mandate was essentially a tax and the government had the power to tax. The states now argue that since Obamacare’s tax penalty will go away in 2019, the law is no longer constitutional. 

We don’t know how the courts will side on the lawsuit, but Congress shouldn’t wait to find out. Millions of Americans need access to affordable coverage.

The best way to do that, apart from full Obamacare repeal and replace—which may not be doable after 2017’s failures—is for Congress to pass legislation either (1) allowing insurers to sell comprehensive coverage that doesn’t meet every Obamacare requirement or (2) letting the states decide if they want to allow non-qualified plans to be sold within their jurisdictions, as Idaho is trying to do. 

The states’ lawsuit keeps the pressure on Washington to do something. People need access to affordable coverage, which millions haven’t had since Obamacare began in 2014.”

 

 The Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) is an independent, nonprofit public policy organization based in Dallas. IPI resident scholar Dr. Merrill Matthews is available for interview by contacting Erin Humiston, (972) 874-5139, or erin@ipi.org. 

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