Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has filed a brief supporting a lawsuit filed by private citizens against the federal government over implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Following the lead of the State of Oklahoma, a group of small business owners is suing the IRS over implementation of the ACA. Both the Oklahoma and private-sector lawsuits challenge an IRS rule that punishes “large employers” with tax penalties in states that did not adopt state-based health care exchanges, which is not allowed under the Affordable Care Act.
“The State of Oklahoma’s lawsuit was the first to raise these issues about the federal government’s implementation of the ACA. We are encouraged others, like the group of small business owners in the Halbig case, are following our lead and joining the effort to hold the administration accountable for implementing the ACA as provided by the law,” General Pruitt said. “The president has said he can’t wait on Congress to act; however, he has to in our system of government. The language of the ACA is clear: the IRS is not allowed to impose tax penalties on large employers in states that did not create state-based health care exchanges. Our lawsuits challenge the administration’s attempt to ‘fix’ the health care law through executive action.”
The small business owners in Halbig v. Sebelius are asking the D.C. Circuit Court to review their case after a federal judge ruled in favor of the federal government. The amicus brief filed by General Pruitt supports the business owners’ request for review. Other states that joined Oklahoma’s amicus brief include Alabama, Georgia, West Virginia, Nebraska and South Carolina.