Zoeller Fights ObamaCare in Courts While Others Send Letters
Earlier this week a number of state attorneys general joined to write about the President Obama’s proposed “fixes” to the Affordable Care Act. David Sherfinski of The Washington Times reports that eleven Republican attorneys general signed on to the letter to protest the haphazard implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
From the letter spearheaded by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey:
We support allowing citizens to keep their health insurance coverage, but any changes to the law must be done legally and through the proper channels. The Administration may not decide single-handedly which parts of the law it will enforce and which parts it will ignore. The only way to fix this problem-ridden law is through congressional action.
Sherfinski reports that the attorneys general range from states as diverse as Idaho, Virgina, Texas, Michigan and Georgia. I was surprised to see that Indiana’s attorney general, Greg Zoeller, hadn’t joined his colleagues on the letter.
Bryan Corbin, Zoeller’s Public Information Officer, told me that Zoeller’s decision to not sign on to the letter, “does not necessarily mean that the Attorney General doesn’t agree with the view expressed (in the letter). Rather than letters, our office instead is focused on the lawsuit that the State of Indiana and 39 school districts have filed in federal court against the IRS, HHS and other federal agencies challenging the employer mandate of the Affordable Care Act as applied to government employers”
You may remember in October Zoeller’s office announced that they would be filing suit in federal court on behalf of 15 Indiana school corporations. Last month 24 more school corporations joined the lawsuit, bringing a total of 39 schools challenging the law in federal court with Zoeller. He explained his reasoning in an editorial after they filed the complaint against the federal government:
State government does not pay federal income taxes and the federal government does not pay state income taxes. This is called intergovernmental tax immunity, part of dual sovereignty and a bedrock of our constitutional system. …(W)hen the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the ACA was constitutional under Congress’ authority to impose taxes, it naturally raised the question whether states also would be subjected to the ACA employer mandate’s tax penalties. The IRS now seeks to impose tax authority over state government. If that occurs, it would significantly alter the relationship between the federal government and states in a negative way.
While it’s nice that these officials are writing to express their opinion about the law, Zoeller is actually doing what he can do to challenge the underlying premise of the law. The challenge to the ACA he has filed with 39 Indiana school corporations strikes to the heart of how this law is trying to fundamentally change the relationship between the federal government and the states. It’s important to note that the government isn’t exactly eager to address these concerns – no court dates have been set and the federal officials named in the suit have not responded to Zoeller’s complaint.