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Twenty States Allege ACA Is Unconstitutional in Federal Lawsuit

Allison Inserro
Twenty states are suing the federal government challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), since the individual mandate was abolished in the tax reform law signed last December by President Donald Trump. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the tax penalty of the ACA, without eliminating the individual mandate itself, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in US District Court in the Northern District of Texas.
Twenty states are suing the federal government challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), since the individual mandate was abolished in the tax reform law signed last December by President Donald Trump.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act eliminated the tax penalty of the ACA, without eliminating the individual mandate itself, according to the lawsuit filed Monday in US District Court in the Northern District of Texas.

"Following the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the country is left with an individual mandate to buy health insurance that lacks any constitutional basis," the lawsuit stated. "Once the heart of the ACA—the individual mandate—is declared unconstitutional, the remainder of the ACA must also fall."

In the 2012 case against the ACA, a majority of the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice were clear that the tax penalty was an essential component of the law, according to a joint statement from the attorneys general of Texas and Wisconsin, who are leading the suit. They said that when the Supreme Court upheld the ACA, the majority decision stated that without the tax penalty, the mandate that individuals purchase health insurance was an unconstitutional exercise of federal power. 

The lawsuit was filed by the attorneys general for the states of Wisconsin, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia, Texas, and by the governors of Maine and Mississippi.

 
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