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Texan Files Suit Against Federal Health Reform

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:13 PM CDT

A Texan is behind the latest court challenge for the Affordable Care Act.  A Houston doctor filed the lawsuit on Tuesday saying the healthcare overhaul violates the constitution.

Inside the State Capitol, surrounded by Republican legislators, Dr. Steven Hotze took on the federal government.

"Obamacare is a real danger to the nation and a great danger to Texas," he told a room packed with media outlets.

Dr. Hotze argued the ACA is in violation of a constitutional provision. It requires revenue raising bills to originate in the U.S. House. He's using the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on the law, which called it a tax. The healthcare bill originated in the Senate, under an amended House bill.

"The Supreme Court does reverse itself several times, it's just not publicized," Dr. Hotze’s attorney, Andrew Schlafly said. "They need to look at this bill a second time and our lawsuit is going to give them this opportunity and we expect to prevail."

The lawsuit also claims the law violates the Fifth Amendment, by asking employers to pay private insurance companies for health coverage.

"There may be several judges, federal judges, who say someone needs to stop this train wreck before more people get hurt," Schlafly said.

Supporters of the healthcare overhaul said it provides more access to coverage and services to uninsured people. They also told us it relieves taxpayers by reducing the number of people who get care, often in costly emergency rooms, not covered by a healthcare plan.

Dr. Hotze, on the other hand, said the insurance premiums will force companies to eliminate healthcare for its employees.

"They're going to go up so substantially, many small business individuals will not be able to afford the increases," he explained.

"This is going to be a huge expense," added Senator Dan Patrick, R-Houston. "I'm grateful Dr. Hotze is stepping forward, as no other business person in America has done, and I think he will have the support of several business owners around the state."

We obtained a statement about the lawsuit from Progress Texas, an activist group, which said in part, "In the history of the Supreme Court, only eight "origination clause" cases … like the one presented have been heard, and not once has the court invalidated an act of Congress because of it."

Do you think the lawsuit will succeed? Join in on the conversation at facebook.com/keyetv.

By Katherine StolpTexan Files Suit Against Federal Health Reform


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