Based on the federal government’s admission of burdensome requirements in the health care law, Attorney General Scott Pruitt late Wednesday filed a response in the state’s case against implementation of a key provision of the Affordable Care Act.
The filing comes after the federal government announced a one-year delay in implementation of the large employer tax due to the requirements’ “complexity” and the need to “simplify” the hundreds of pages of burdensome reporting and coverage requirements for employers. The state has argued these burdensome requirements for large employers, including the State of Oklahoma, give the state standing to bring the lawsuit against the ACA.
“Oklahoma’s position has been clear from the beginning that the ‘large-employer mandate’ not only violates the law when implemented in states without a state health care exchange, but cripples businesses with burdensome and onerous requirements and penalties,” Attorney General Scott Pruitt said.
“Until now, the Obama Administration has argued in court that the mandate is uncomplicated and easy, but its sudden reversal and delay of the mandate, clearly demonstrates acknowledgement that the 'large-employer mandate' is in fact a complex, job killing and harmful mandate on businesses. Our fight continues on behalf of Oklahoma citizens to confront the Administration when it seeks to overreach its authority and circumvent the law."
Oklahoma’s lawsuit was filed in September in federal court in the eastern district of Oklahoma. The lawsuit argues that an IRS rule punishes “large employers,” including local government, with millions of dollars in tax penalties in states that did not adopt state health care exchanges, which is not allowed under the Affordable Care Act. The lawsuit also asserts that IRS rule violates the Administrative Procedures Act.