Texas is suing the federal government over the Affordable Care Act yet again.
Attorney General Ken Paxton is part of a 20-state lawsuit filed Monday.
The Supreme Court has already ruled twice that the Affordable Care Act is constitutional. But Texas and the other states argue that the passage of the recent tax reform bill, which eliminates the penalty for not buying insurance, changes everything.
Paxton and Texas are joined by Republican attorney generals and one Republican governor in 19 other states. They’re arguing the passage of the GOP’s tax plan and repeal of the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act ultimately make Obamacare unconstitutional.
Paxton argues the Supreme Court’s first two rulings were “rested solely on the flimsy support of Congress authority to tax. Congress has now kicked that flimsy support from beneath the law."
Constitutional law expert David Coale is not affiliated with the lawsuit. He says it may actually kick off a series of others designed to save what's left of the Affordable Care Act.
Coale says repealing Obamacare is still popular in deep red states like Texas. But nationally, the Affordable Care Act has grown in popularity now that the penalty for not having insurance has been removed.
"With that out of the picture now, you have people looking at their pocketbooks, looking at their insurance bill, looking at what’s left of Obamacare and saying, 'Wait a minute. I'd like to take advantage of that,’” the lawyer said.
And Coale believes there are a growing number of conservatives who think killing Obamacare would hurt Republicans nationally.
“There is some tension there between Texas and other very powerful currents in the Republican party,” Coale said.
The individual mandate is still in effect this year, but the penalty goes to zero in 2019.
Coale believes there is a 50-50 chance that the suit does find its way again to the U.S. Supreme Court.