Earlier this year, Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, along with 18 other states, filed a brief in support of preliminary injunction in federal district court against the federal government’s enforcement of the individual mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A judge from the Northern District of Texas court heard oral arguments in the case last week to decide whether to grant the injunction that would suspend the individual mandate until the case is decided.
Congress repealed the tax penalty, yet left in place the ACA’s individual mandate, in the federal tax reform bill in December 2017. The attorneys general argue that the remaining mandate, without the tax penalty, violates the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, and Congress does not have the constitutional authority to compel citizens to purchase health insurance.
Wisconsin and Texas, along with four other states, are involved in simultaneous ACA litigation in the same Texas court, contesting imposition of a Health Insurance Providers Fee (HIPF) on Medicaid managed care contracts. A recent ruling agreed with the state attorneys general that the ACA exempted states from paying the HIPF and ordered refunds to the states for payments made in 2014 to 2016. Wisconsin would receive a refund of $88.9 million, so long as the ruling is not appealed.