20 states challenge constitutionality of Obamacare

By Susan McFarland  |  Feb. 27, 2018 at 8:24 AM
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Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A 20-state lawsuit filed Monday in federal court challenges the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, citing the Trump Administration's tax overhaul did away with the penalty mandate for individuals not carrying health insurance.

"Texans have known all along that Obamacare is unlawful, and a divided Supreme Court's approval rested solely on the flimsy support of Congress' authority to tax. Congress has now kicked that flimsy support from beneath the law," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said. "With no remaining legitimate basis for the law, it is time that Americans are finally free from the stranglehold of Obamacare, once and for all."

According to the lawsuit, an earlier case against the ACA made it clear that tax penalty was an essential component of the law, and when the Supreme Court upheld the ACA the ruling stated "without the tax penalty, the mandate that individuals purchase health insurance was an unconstitutional exercise of federal power."

"Not only is the individual mandate now unlawful, but this core provision is not severable from the rest of the ACA-as four Justices of the Supreme Court already concluded," according to the court document.

Texas and Wisconsin are joined in the lawsuit by Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and West Virginia.

"Through our multi-state lawsuit, we hope to effectively repeal Obamacare, which will then give President Trump and Congress an opportunity to replace that failed experiment with a plan that ensures Texans and all Americans have better choices for health coverage at more affordable prices," Paxton said.

Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said the ACA's "irrational design wreaks havoc on health insurance markets."

"Obamacare causes premiums to rise and coverage to fall, forcing Wisconsin and other states to take extreme, costly measures to protect their citizens' health and pocketbooks," Schimel said. "I bring this challenge to Obamacare because, as Wisconsin's attorney general, I swore to uphold the rule of law and protect our state from overreaching and harmful actions from the federal government."

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