Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is celebrating this week after winning an $839 million judgment against Barack Obama’s disastrous Obamacare policy in what is a major blow to Obama’s chief achievement.
The misnamed Affordable Care Act (ACA) — derisively better known as Obamacare — was requiring states to pay a Health Insurance Provider Fee even though the law itself does not require it. So, five conservative leaning states took Obama to court over the slight.
And now they’ve won the case (which is Texas v. United States, No. 7:15-cv-151, for those playing at home).
Paxton sued in federal court, joined by Indiana, Nebraska, Kansas, and Louisiana. The five states’ lawsuit argues that this tax/fee is illegal under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA) because the ACA clearly exempts states from this payment and also that even if the statute did allow it, such taxes would violate the Tenth Amendment of the Constitution when imposed on sovereign states.
Judge Reed O’Connor of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas agreed on the statutory issue (the APA claim), striking down the Obama HHS rule because it violates the plain language of the ACA law. O’Connor ordered the federal government to pay Texas the $305 million that the Lone Star State had paid in HIPF fees, as well as the fees of the other states, for a total of $839 million.
“Obamacare is unconstitutional, plain and simple,” Paxton said after Thursday’s ruling. “We all know that the feds cannot tax the states, and we’re proud to return this illegally collected money to the people of Texas.”
Having struck down the HIPF tax on statutory grounds, the court did not even need to reach the constitutional claim. Under the doctrine of constitutional avoidance, federal courts are supposed to issue constitutional rulings only if there is no lesser law upon which to grant plaintiffs the relief they seek. There is no reason to doubt that the states would have won on their constitutional argument if necessary, however, because the federal government cannot tax states under the Tenth Amendment’s intergovernmental tax immunity doctrine.
Naturally, the mainstream media seems to be utterly ignoring this story in favor of playing up fake stories about how Trump is headed for jail.
But that is far from the only problem with Obamacare, naturally. A recent study shows that deductibles are skyrocketing under Obama’s disastrous forced “health care” law.
Early this month, Breitbart News noted:
Average health insurance deductibles and the number of Americans with high-deductible health insurance plans continue to rise under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
High-deductible plans require Americans to pay more out of pocket for their medical expenses, including medical expenses and hospital procedures.
In 2006, 11.4 percent of private sector employees had a high-deductible plan compared to 2016. Now, 46.5 percent of Americans have a high-deductible plan. Roughly half of the workers with a high-deductible plan get an employer contribution to a health savings account (HSA) or a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA).
Small businesses tend to offer high deductibles more often than larger corporations. At the smallest companies, about two-thirds of workers did not have the option of a plan without a high deductible and did not receive an employer contribution from an HSA or HRA.
Also unsurprisingly, premiums under Obamacare have continued to rise. Shocker, huh?
The sooner this horrid law is eliminated, the better.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.