Texas And California Debate Obamacare Law In Court

Chris Fox
July 10, 2019 - 3:57 pm

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AUSTIN (KRLD) - On behalf of Attorney General Ken Paxton and a coalition of 18 states, Texas Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins argued at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, urging that court to uphold a U.S. district court’s ruling declaring Obamacare unconstitutional in its entirety.

During the arguments, Hawkins explained that when Congress enacted President Trump’s tax overhaul, it rendered Obamacare unconstitutional by doing away with the tax penalty for violating Obamacare’s individual mandate, which the U.S. Supreme Court previously held was the only constitutional basis for the law.

“The individual mandate is the centerpiece of Obamacare. When the law was stripped of its revenue-raising penalty, the mandate and the entire law are now unconstitutional,” Attorney General Paxton said. “Obamacare resulted in higher costs, fewer choices, and power imbalance between the people and their government. The Founders of this great country intended a form of federalism that allows the people of each state to decide such matters as what type of health care system they want. Texas seeks to preserve that federalism. We can and will do better than Obamacare for all Texans.”

The office of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra lead a coalition of 20 states and the District of Columbia in defense of the Affordable Care Act before the 5th Circuit.

“If the Trump Administration had done its job to defend and protect the healthcare of millions of Americans, we wouldn’t be in this mess,” said Becerra. “Since President Trump refuses to protect Americans’ healthcare, California’s coalition has picked up his fumble. Our argument is simple: the health and wellbeing of nearly every American is at risk. Healthcare can mean the difference between life and death, financial stability and bankruptcy. Our families’ wellbeing should not be treated as a political football.”

The three-judge panel of the 5th Circuit Court isn’t expected to release a decision in the case for a few months. Whichever side loses is expected to appeal the decision to the US Supreme Court.