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Attorney General Marty Jackley

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SD Joins Challenge to Affordable Care Act's Violation of the Origination Clause
PIERRE, S.D - Attorney General Marty Jackley announces that South Dakota has joined 20 states in asserting that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) violates the Constitution’s Origination Clause, which requires that all tax bills originate in the House of Representatives. In the original challenge to the ACA a divided United States Supreme Court held that the Congress’s reliance upon the Commerce Clause and the Medicaid coercion were both unconstitutional; however, the Court held the individual mandate was Constitutional under Congress’s authority to level taxes.

"I feel strongly that the federal takeover of healthcare has gone too far in violation of fundamental individual and state’s rights. The divided Supreme Court decision that construed Obamacare as a tax that saved it from the Congress’s mistaken reliance upon the Commerce Clause may well have led it straight into a serious Constitutional Origination Clause violation,” said Jackley.

The Origination Clause provides: “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” U.S. CONST. Art.I § 7, cl.1. The Affordable Care Act did not originate in the House of Representatives. In 2009, the House of Representatives passed 416-0 the Service Members Home Ownership Act. The six page Act outlined certain tax breaks given to homeowners that were serving in the military. The bill was sent to the Senate where every word of the bill was struck, deleting any reference to members of the military or home-ownership tax breaks, and substituted with an over 2,000 page amendment that is now known as Obamacare. The Attorneys General argue that because the United States Supreme Court has held the ACA constitutes a tax, the Origination Clause of the United States Constitution required that it originate in the House of Representatives rather than the Senate.

The Federal Healthcare Act’s expansion of coverage was estimated to increase federal spending in the amount of $3.3 trillion over 10 years as set forth in the U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments. The Senate originated Act contains more than $1 trillion in new taxes. Full implementation of the Federal Act is estimated to cost the State of South Dakota millions, which is concerning given the requirement that South Dakota maintain a balanced budget.

The challenge is filed in the Fifth Circuit Federal Court of Appeals, and there is no additional cost for South Dakota to join the challenge entitled Hotze v. Sebelius.