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Indiana AG calls Affordable Care Act 'insidious government takeover' after court ruling

Indiana AG calls Affordable Care Act 'insidious government takeover' after court ruling


Trisha and Adam Brand fear changes to the Affordable Care Act regarding pre-existing conditions because their children have asthma. Indianapolis Star

Indiana Attorney General Todd Rokita called the Affordable Care Act an “insidious government takeover” after seven U.S. Supreme Court justices ruled that a lawsuit challenging the act didn’t have a strong enough legal foundation.

The ruling preserves health insurance for millions and marks a loss for Rokita, whose support for the lawsuit was a pillar of his run for Indiana attorney general in 2020. His predecessor, Curtis Hill, joined the lawsuit along with officials representing other Republican-led states, and Rokita kept Indiana in when he took over the attorney general’s office in January.

“Once again, the Supreme Court has declined to weigh in on the merits of this insidious government takeover of our healthcare, otherwise known as Obamacare, which has drastically driven up cost by squelching competition and choice,” Rokita said in a statement provided to IndyStar. “We’ll continue to push back against this unconstitutional law.”

Researchers tend to agree that Americans started spending more on health care after the Affordable Care Act took full effect in 2014. That rise is connected to the increase in health care demand due to more people getting insured. The perennial growth in medical costs in the U.S. actually slowed from 2014 to 2015, according to a 2017 study by economists and statisticians with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. 

James Briggs:Republicans say Indiana’s Obamacare lawsuit is moronic. Todd Rokita supports it.

In their challenge of the law, Indiana and 17 other states argued the Affordable Care Act was made unconstitutional in 2017 when Congress struck a provision that penalized Americans who did not sign up for health insurance. On that basis a federal judge in Texas ruled in 2018 that the act was unconstitutional.

Seven Supreme Court justices, including Trump appointees Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh, said Thursday those arguments were lacking.

Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the court’s opinion that “there is a fundamental problem with the arguments advanced by the plaintiffs in attacking the Act—they have not identified any unlawful action that has injured them.”

Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch dissented. They argued that the seven justices are sidestepping the bigger question of whether the act is legal.

“The ACA imposes many burdensome obligations on States in their capacity as employers, and the 18 States in question collectively have more than a million employees,” Alito wrote. “Even $1 in harm is enough to support standing. Yet no State has standing?”

Rokita has said in the past that he would support a health care model that mixes state and private initiatives. He believes in providing coverage to Hoosiers with pre-existing conditions. “The private sector can deliver health care in a much more efficient, much more compassionate way than the government, bureaucratic, federal level ever can dream of,” he told IndyStar.

As of May, 53% of Americans were in favor of the Affordable Care Act while 35% were not in favor, according to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation. The margin of error was 3%. 

Call IndyStar courts reporter Johnny Magdaleno at 317-273-3188 or email him at Follow him on Twitter @IndyStarJohnny

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Published at Thu, 17 Jun 2021 23:08:17 +0000