Oklahoma Attorney General - www.oag.ok.gov

News Release


Attorney General Pruitt Says Fight Continues after Historic U.S. Supreme Court Decision Declaring Health Care Act Mandate a New Tax on Americans

Court rules mandate unconstitutional under Commerce Clause; Allowable as new tax

WASHINGTON D.C. – Attorney General Scott Pruitt Thursday said the future of the overreaching federal health care act is now in the hands of voters and the political process after the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court found the health care act’s individual mandate unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause, but allowed it as new tax.

“The Supreme Court agreed with our legal challenge that it is beyond the power of the federal government to require Americans to buy a private product under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. The Court also limited the ability of the federal government to coerce states into action by threatening to take away Medicaid funds,” Pruitt said.

“Unfortunately, as Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and Alito wrote in their dissent, the Court strained to find a way to save a tax law that Congress and President Obama went to great lengths to say was not a tax when selling this health care bill to Oklahomans and the American people. If Congress wants to pass a tax, they should pass a tax and face the potential political cost. It is now up to voters to fix the situation through the political process by repealing the act and replacing it with measures that address the health care crisis within the confines of the Constitution and without heavy tax burdens on Oklahoma families.”

General Pruitt attended Thursday’s court session at the U.S. Supreme Court. He was in Washington D.C. Thursday to testify before a Congressional subcommittee on abuses by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Oklahoma filed a lawsuit against the health care act in January 2011, and filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court case. Virginia and Florida also filed lawsuits, challenging the act. Twenty-five other states joined the Florida lawsuit.

Oklahoma Attorney General - www.oag.ok.gov

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