Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued the following statement after the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider whether a legislative change to Obamacare’s unlawful individual mandate renders the entire law unconstitutional:
“Now that the individual mandate can no longer be preserved as a tax, the constitutionality of Obamacare must be determined. The Fifth Circuit correctly applied existing U.S. Supreme Court precedent when they ruled that the individual mandate itself was unconstitutional. Without the individual mandate, the entire law becomes unsupportable. The federal government cannot order private citizens to purchase subpar insurance that they don’t want, and I look forward to finally settling the matter before the U.S. Supreme Court.”
When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Obamacare in 2012, a majority of the justices agreed that Obamacare’s individual mandate was constitutional only because its accompanying tax penalty could justify forcing individuals to purchase health insurance under Congress’ taxing power. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 removed the penalty, meaning Obamacare’s intrusive individual mandate cannot be preserved as a tax, and rendering it unlawful.