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Texas Leads 20-State Lawsuit Against Obamacare

Shelby Knowles/ The Texas Tribune
Obamacare sign up in east Austin on Dec. 1, 2015.

Texas is suing the federal government over President Barack Obama's landmark health law — again.

In a 20-state lawsuit filed Monday in federal court, Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that after the passage of the GOP's tax plan last year — which also repealed a provision of the sweeping legislation known as "Obamacare" that required people to have health insurance — the health law is no longer constitutional.

“Texans have known all along that Obamacare is unlawful, and a divided Supreme Court’s approval rested solely on the flimsy support of Congress’ authority to tax. Congress has now kicked that flimsy support from beneath the law,” Paxton said in a statement Monday. “With no remaining legitimate basis for the law, it is time that Americans are finally free from the stranglehold of Obamacare, once and for all.”

Texas has sued the government more than 60 times since 2008, and those efforts haven’t ceased since the Obama administration gave way to that of President Donald Trump last year.

Texas did not elect to create a state exchange for health insurance, as the Affordable Care Act provided for, but the law still had important impacts on the state, Paxton said, including by increasing the amount of money Texas must pay the Internal Revenue Service through its Medicaid managed care organizations. Repealing the law would allow Congress to "replace that failed experiment with a plan that ensures Texans and all Americans have better choices for health coverage at more affordable prices," Paxton said.

Texas also sued the federal government over the health care law in 2015, challenging a fee that states were required to pay to cover the cost of the law. And that followed a 2010 suit arguing that certain facets of the law exceeded federal authority. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled the law constitutional in 2012.

The Texas Tribune provided this story.

Emma Platoff is a breaking news reporter at The Texas Tribune. She previously worked at the Tribune as a reporting fellow and is a recent graduate of Yale University, where she studied English literature and nonfiction writing. She has also worked as the managing editor of the Yale Daily News and as an intern at The Philadelphia Inquirer and the Hartford Courant.