Oklahoma attorney general renews challenge to Obama administration's health care act

Two months after an unfavorable ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court seemed to strike down state challenges to the Affordable Care Act, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has amended his lawsuit to address new complaints and new issues with the Obama administration's health care act.
BY MEGAN ROLLAND mrolland@opubco.com Published: September 20, 2012

More than 60 percent of voters in Oklahoma approved an amendment to the state constitution in November 2010 that prohibits any government from requiring Oklahomans to buy health insurance.

Pruitt is still seeking a judgment on the original claim that Oklahoma's constitutional amendment supersedes the federal mandate.

But a new complaint in Pruitt's amended lawsuit is that the Internal Revenue Service has issued rules to implement the Affordable Care Act that overstep and directly conflict “with the unambiguous language” in the act itself.

Those rules deal with the health exchanges that states were initially required to implement under the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court found it unconstitutional to require a state to establish an exchange, and left the decision up to each individual state.

“Oklahoma has not established or elected to establish an Exchange, and does not expect to do so,” the complaint says. Yet, under the current rules set forth by the IRS, Oklahoma large businesses would still be liable to pay some sort of penalty or tax if employees sign up for health care through a federally established health care exchange.

The challenge is now in federal court in Muskogee.

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