December 18, 2019
Independent Women’s Forum Applauds Federal Appeals Court’s Texas v. Azar Decision
“The Fifth Circuit properly held that, because the individual mandate now raises no revenue, it lacks the 'essential feature' of a tax. To hold otherwise would remove any discernible limit on the taxing power.”
– Erin Hawley, Independent Women’s Law Center Senior Legal Fellow
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) applauds the Fifth Circuit’s decision today in Texas v. Azar striking down the individual mandate. This decision upholds the paramount principle of limited government.
In NFIB v. Sebelius, a bare majority of the Supreme Court saved the Affordable Care Act by reinterpreting the individual mandate’s “penalty” as a “tax.” According to that opinion, “the essential feature” of a tax is that “it produces at least some revenue for the government.”
In the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, Congress zeroed out that tax.
“In Azar, the Fifth Circuit properly held that, because the individual mandate now raises no revenue,” said Erin Hawley, Independent Women’s Law Center Senior Legal Fellow. “It lacks the ‘essential feature’ of a tax. To hold otherwise would remove any discernible limit on the taxing power allowing the government to do things it otherwise cannot do—like force people to buy health insurance—when the related ‘tax’ raises no government revenue.”
The Fifth Circuit remanded to the district court to consider its severability holding in light of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
With this decision, the American people are relieved of the unconstitutional individual mandate, but will retain their current insurance while the case is on remand and Congress works to lower costs and fix flaws in the Affordable Care Act.
Independent Women's Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.
Independent Women’s Law Center advocates for equal opportunity, individual liberty, and respect for the American constitutional order.