March 1, 2018
UTAH JOINS LAWSUIT AGAINST OBAMACARE
Twenty Attorneys General Challenge Constitutionality of Affordable Care Act
This week, Attorney General Sean Reyes joined a 20-state coalition lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. The lawsuit asserts that since the tax reform passed by Congress eliminated the tax penalty of the ACA’s individual mandate, the ACA is now unlawful.
“Utah has always believed that the ACA was an impermissible overreach of federal authority,” said Attorney General Reyes. “The Commerce Clause gives Congress the power to regulate commerce but not to compel it. The U.S. Supreme Court defined the individual mandate penalty as a tax which made the ACA constitutional. Because the recent tax reform legislation eliminated that penalty, Obamacare is no longer legally viable. This lawsuit will clear the path for the states and Congress to move forward with solutions that work better for Americans and are in line with constitutional limits on government power. We hope small business, individuals, and families whose costs and premiums increased dramatically due to the ACA can finally get much deserved relief.”
The Supreme Court construed the penalty as a tax, even though Congress had repeatedly denied that it was a tax and upheld the mandate as a permissible exercise of the taxing power. The Court and the DOJ under President Obama’s Administration repeatedly emphasized that the mandate was not severable from the rest of the ACA – that is, if the mandate was unconstitutional, the entire law must go.
Joining Utah in the coalition, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, are Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
NOTE: You can find a copy of the states’ complaint here.