[Rushtalk] States challenge health care insurance fee

Carl Spitzer lynux at keepandbeararms.com
Fri Oct 30 13:21:11 MDT 2015

States challenge health care insurance fee
Friday 23 October 2015 at 7:20 AM ET by William Helbling 
©  WikiMedia (Chuck Kennedy)
[JURIST] The state of Texas, along with Kansas and Louisiana, on
Thursday filed a lawsuit [complaint] challenging the legality of the
Health Insurance Providers Fee required under the Affordable Care Act
(ACA) [text]. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton [official website]
believes [press release] that the ACA's providers fee forces states to
pay an unconstitutional tax and threatens to cut Medicaid for Texas
citizens. Paxton stated in regards to his issues with the ACA fee,
"[t]his threat to cut Medicaid funding to Texans unless the state
continues to pay hundreds of millions in taxes to Washington amounts to
the very 'gun to the head' the Supreme Court warned about in earlier
rulings on Obamacare." The state of Texas claims that the ACA has
unconstitutionally taxed its citizens $84 million in 2013 and around
$120 million to date. Paxton believes the tax is illegal citing that
under the US Constitution state officials must "clearly understand" the
conditions a State agrees to when receiving federal funds. 

Comprehensive health care reform [JURIST backgrounder] was passed by
Congress in March 2010, and recent legal challenges have reinvigorated
debate. The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) [official
website] reports that between 2010 and 2015, at least 21 states enacted
laws attempting to challenge or completely opt out of mandatory
provisions of the ACA. In June the Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report]
in King v. Burwell [SCOTUSblog materials] that tax credits available to
those who buy health insurance through state exchanges are also
available to those who buy it through the federal exchange. Last year
the court ruled [JURIST report] in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby [SCOTUSblog
backgrounder] that closely held corporations can deny contraceptive
coverage to their employees for religious reasons.


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