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Legislator says state trying to deny health care insurance to Hoosiers

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Democratic State Rep. Ed DeLaney has called for the state’s lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act to be thrown out of court “as quickly as humanly possible.”

The state and 15 school corporations filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the Internal Revenue Service, challenging the employer mandate requirements of health care reform. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding the individual mandate to buy health insurance did not address the IRS regulations regarding the employer mandate.

“We contend the ACA improperly regulates sovereign states and does not authorize the IRS to do what it is doing in treating the state as a taxable entity,” Zoeller said. “We are raising this respectful challenge for the federal courts to decide these questions.”

DeLaney, an Indianapolis attorney, charged the state is trying to gut the Affordable Care Act provisions that benefit Indiana residents.

“This lawsuit confirms the desire of our state’s Republican leadership to deny affordable health care coverage to hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers and takes that to dangerous new levels,” he said.

DeLaney held a press conference Wednesday and issued a statement regarding the lawsuit.

The Indianapolis Democrat reiterated the argument his caucus made during the recent session of Indiana General Assembly about the state’s decision to not expand Medicaid. He said nearly 400,000 additional Hoosiers who live below the poverty level will not be able to get coverage under Medicaid even though Indiana taxpayers’ dollars are funding the expansion.

Now, DeLaney continued, Indiana residents are being told that the state’s decision not to operate its own health insurance exchange means that another 400,000 Hoosiers who make between $15,000 and $80,000 a year in the private sector should not receive any subsidies from the federal government to pay for their health care coverage.

“This lawsuit deserves to be tossed out of court as quickly as humanly possible,” DeLaney said. “Someday, there will need to be an accounting for the willful neglect demonstrated by the leaders of this state’s government toward the basic human need for health care.”
 

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