House Democrats are going to battle against 20 states to protect and preserve Obamacare.
On Thursday, the new House majority filed a motion asking an appellate court to allow the House to intervene on the side of Democrat-controlled states that are battling with GOP-led states over the controversial health care plan, The Hill reported.
Twenty states, all led by Republicans, have joined a lawsuit to have Obamacare thrown out.
Last month, a federal judge in Texas agreed with the Republicans’ position. However, his ruling that the Affordable Care Act in invalid was placed on hold pending an appeal.
Although usually the Office of the Attorney General would fight against a suit opposing a federal law, the Trump administration has refused to get involved and defend former President Barack Obama’s signature piece of legislation.
The court filing said the House “has a unique institutional interest in participating in this litigation to defend the (Affordable Care Act) against the remaining challenges, and intervention should be granted.”
“The House disagrees with the Attorney General’s position, which (if enforced) would erase in significant part the statute that Congress enacted, and the House is prepared to argue against this position in any relevant additional proceedings in this Court and on appeal,” the filing said.
The suit hinges on changes to Obamacare approved by Congress in 2017, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Among the changes was the elimination of any tax penalty for Americans who violate the mandate to have insurance. The fact that the penalty could be construed as a tax was crucial to the 2012 Supreme Court ruling that turned back challenges to the mandate and Obamacare.
The lawsuit, led by Wisconsin and Texas, argues that now that the tax is gone, the rest of the law should follow.
Fifth District Judge Reed O’Connor agreed.
In his December ruling, he said the “Individual Mandate can no longer be fairly read as an exercise of Congress’s Tax Power and is still impermissible under the Interstate Commerce Clause — meaning the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional,” CNN reported
The individual mandate is “essential to and inseverable from the remainder of the ACA,” he wrote.
O’Connor said that he issued a stay of implementation on his ruling to avoid putting Americans through uncertainty during the appeals process.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has said that he is “eager to defend the district court’s ruling declaring Obamacare unconstitutional,” KSTU reported.
“We have no quarrel with the district court’s stay, which provides the states with an opportunity to develop plans to address the health care needs of their residents for the day this ruling is ultimately upheld,” Paxton said.
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