Leading a multistate coalition, Attorney General Ken Paxton yesterday filed a summary judgment motion asking a U.S. District Court to strike down an unlawful Obamacare requirement that increases costs to Texas taxpayers and violates the medical judgment and conscience rights of physicians across the country.
In August 2016, Attorney General Paxton led a lawsuit against a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services rule “interpreting” the definition of “sex” discrimination within Obamacare as a state of mind, not a biological fact. The rule forced state doctors, health care workers and state employers who provide insurance to provide sex change surgeries and abortions, even if they objected because of their religious beliefs or best medical judgments, with taxpayers footing the costs.
In 2017, the district court issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against enforcement of the rule, but Attorney General Paxton is urging the court to issue a summary judgment declaring the rule unlawful so it can be wiped permanently from the Code of Federal Regulations.
“This was the Obama administration’s attempt to rewrite law without congressional authority and to trample on the states’ authority to provide set rules for the medical profession,” Attorney General Paxton said. “The federal government has no right to force Texans to pay for surgical procedures intended to change a person’s sex. Our multistate coalition is asking the U.S. District Court to issue a summary judgment to protect medical professionals who believe that engaging in such procedures or treatment violates their Hippocratic Oath, their conscience, or their personal religious beliefs, which are protected by the Constitution and federal law.”
States that fail to comply with the rule risk losing billions of dollars in federal healthcare funding. Texas alone could lose an average of $40 billion a year, but those who stand to lose the most are the nation’s most vulnerable citizens who participate in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Attorney General Paxton is joined on the brief by his counterparts from Arizona, Kansas, Nebraska, Louisiana and Wisconsin, along the governors of Kentucky and Mississippi.
View a copy of the brief here.
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