A coalition of 20 states has filed a lawsuit alleging ObamaCare is unconstitutional.
They’re claiming that since the GOP eliminated the tax penalty associated with the individual mandate, that ObamaCare itself is no longer constitutional.
The lawsuit against the federal government, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel (R), was filed Monday in the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of Texas.
In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that ObamaCare’s individual mandate was constitutional because Congress has the power to levy taxes. The lawsuit points to that part of the ruling in its argument that the law is no longer constitutional.
The GOP tax law “eliminated the tax penalty of the ACA, without eliminating the mandate itself. What remains, then, is the individual mandate, without any accompanying exercise of Congress’s taxing power, which the Supreme Court already held that Congress has no authority to enact,” the complaint states.
“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.”
The GOP tax law zeroed out the individual mandate’s penalty so that, starting in 2019, people wouldn’t have to pay a fine for not having insurance. It didn’t actually eliminate the requirement that people have insurance.
“The U.S. Supreme Court already admitted that an individual mandate without a tax penalty is unconstitutional,” Paxton said in a press release. “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.”
The goal of the lawsuit, Paxton stated, is to repeal ObamaCare, so that Republicans can replace it.
Senate Republicans failed to coalesce around a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and a scaled-down version of a repeal bill failed in a dramatic vote on the floor in late July.
The party has largely moved on from its goal of eliminating the health-care law, with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) noting that the margin of error is now even slimmer with the addition of another Democrat, Sen. Doug Jones, to the upper chamber.
Instead, the Trump administration has proposed a series of rules that would change the health-care law.