The state is refusing the federal government’s request for a judge to dismiss the suit.
Oklahoma has announced its opposition to the request that was made by the federal government to allow a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the state in order to challenge the legislation imposed by the health care reforms of 2010.
The state is claiming that the federal overhaul disregards Oklahoma’s own laws and breaks them.
According to the lawsuit which will go before a U.S. District Court in Muskogee, Oklahoma, the federal health care reforms are causing “injury” to the state by disregarding the amendment that was made to the constitution in that state which banned any law or regulation that would compel a healthcare provider, employer, or individual to have to participate within the system, according to Scott Pruitt, the Attorney General’s statement within a filing with the court.
This decision could potentially exempt the state from the health care reforms being implemented across the country.
The regulations for federal taxation on the creation of the health insurance exchanges which are central to the health care reforms. While they make it possible for residents of Oklahoma to shop for their coverage, the added taxation element – according to the lawsuit – is taking away the state’s “important sovereign choice” because it is “requiring it to provide federally-approved health insurance to all full-time employees — or risk onerous penalties.”
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The Republican Attorney General, Pruitt, originally filed the lawsuit in January 2011, which was 10 months following the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by the President. Those health care reforms made it mandatory for nearly all Americans to have to purchase basic medical insurance. That element of the law will become effective in 2014.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the majority of those health care reforms, which included the mandate to buy coverage, thereby giving Congress the power to legitimately levy taxes.
In December 2012, the U.S. argued that Oklahoma does not have the standing in order to file a lawsuit against the federal government in order to remove the benefits of the federal health care reforms from the reach of its residents. The argument made by the Obama administration was that without the insurance exchange, there would be approximately 380,000 people in that state who would not receive an average of $5,000 per person in tax credits and some large employers would be facing tax penalties if they don’t offer coverage that qualifies.