U.S. Fifth Circuit - The FindLaw 5th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Twenty States Sue to Finish Off Obamacare

President Trump took out Obamacare's tax penalty for individuals who don't have health insurance, but attorneys general across the country want to kill off the rest of the health insurance legislation.

The President and fellow Republicans repealed the "individual mandate" of the Affordable Care Act that requires Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine. The mandate will expire in 2019.

In the meantime, 20 states have sued to undo the entire act. They say that without the mandate, Obamacare is unlawful.

"Obamacare Unlawful"

"The U.S. Supreme Court already admitted that an individual mandate without a tax penalty is unconstitutional," said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. "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."

Led by Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, the plaintiffs include 18 other states. The case was filed in the federal court in the Northern District of Texas.

That's partly because Texas has sued the government more than 60 times since 2008. Texas did not opt in to a state exchange under Obamacare, but Texans still had to pay for it through federal taxes.

Repealing the law would allow Congress 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.

Texas v. USA

In their lawsuit, the plaintiffs say repealing the individual tax penalty didn't go far enough.

"What remains, then, is the individual mandate, without any accompanying exercise of Congress' taxing power, which the Supreme Court already held that Congress has no authority to enact," the complaint says in Texas v. United States.

The other named plaintiffs are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.

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