The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that penalties under the Affordable Care Act qualify as taxes has opened the door to another constitutional challenge, Dr. Steve Hotze, a Houston physician and prominent Republican donor, said at a Tuesday press conference announcing his lawsuit against the federal government.
“What we were promised was a new health care policy and change that could be good for all Americans,” Hotze said at the state Capitol, flanked by more than a dozen Republican legislators. “Really, all it’s turned out to offer us is higher premiums, higher taxes and a government that will allow its bureaucrats to interfere with the doctor-patient relationship.”
Hotze plans to file a lawsuit in Houston district court on Tuesday to prevent enforcement of the federal Affordable Care Act in Texas.
The lawsuit presents two constitutional challenges: First, it argues that the ACA violates the rule that requires revenue-raising bills to begin the U.S. House, because the original bill began as a tax credit bill for veterans — not a revenue-raising bill. Second, the lawsuit argues that the ACA violates the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution by essentially requiring citizens to pay money to other citizens by compelling employers to pay private insurance companies for health coverage.
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