28 States Challenged The Constitutionality Of The ACA (Obamacare)
When the Supreme Court determined in June of 2012 that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare as so many are calling it, was constitutional, they had no idea how the political and public landscape would ultimately become divided over this issue in less than a year. In November of this past year (2014), the Washington Post headlines proclaimed that the Supreme Court Justices would be hearing the most serious challenge (i.e. lawsuit) to this legislation since it’s signing into law occurred in March of 2010. Those federal subsidies that assist millions of people in the purchase of health insurance were the target of the lawsuit.
Legal action was taken by a number of lawmakers and organizations almost immediately after the ACA had passed in both branches of Congress and was signed into law by the President. In fact, there were a number of key provisions within the law that these groups and individuals attempted to challenge and invalidate. Slightly more than half of the states (28 out of 50) filed individual and joint lawsuits with 26 of them engaging in a joint action in order to strike the mandate down in its entirety.
The primary basis for the challenge among the states Attorneys General (according to many press releases) was that it violated their state’s sovereignty. Basically, what they challenged was the provision that allowed the Federal Government to penalize US citizens and legal residents for not purchasing health care coverage. Another part of the challenge included claims made by the participants of these legal actions that the law in itself placed an unjust financial burden on the governments of the states involved in the challenge.
At the time, many of the other states that were not involved in these legal actions were either considering filing individual independent lawsuits or were expected to participate with the 28 states that originally filed the action. Additionally, legislative members in several states attempted to counteract or eliminate certain provisions of the ACA within their respective states. As a result, measures to amend certain provisions within their individual constitutions were introduced in 29 state legislatures, their goal being to nullify portions of the ACA.
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