State Watch

Judge allows Wisconsin to withdraw from two lawsuits against ObamaCare

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A federal court has allowed Wisconsin’s Democratic attorney general to withdraw the state from a pair of lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act, also known as ObamaCare.

Josh Kaul’s office announced Tuesday that the U.S. District Court in Northern Texas granted Kaul’s request to remove Wisconsin from two lawsuits the state is involved that challenge the health care law, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.

{mosads}One lawsuit seeks to overturn the Affordable Care Act entirely. A federal judge overseeing that case ruled last year that the law’s individual mandate is unconstitutional, making the entire law invalid.

The law, however, remains in effect and Democratic states have already taken steps to appeal the ruling. 

Wisconsin remains part of the case at the appellate level, where an appeal is being heard, the Journal reported. Kaul has requested to remove Wisconsin from the appeal but a judge has yet to make a ruling.

The other lawsuit Wisconsin withdrew from challenges an Obama-era rule that interprets the Affordable Care Act’s ban on sex discrimination as including discrimination on the basis of gender identity and “termination of pregnancy.”

“The Rule would require Plaintiffs to perform and provide insurance coverage for gender transitions and abortions contrary to their religious beliefs and medical judgment,” the lawsuit states.

Others states involved listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Arizona, Kentucky, Nebraska and Mississippi.

Kaul said in a statement Tuesday that “the state of Wisconsin should not have been involved in this lawsuit, and I am glad to be able to announce that we no longer are,” according to the Journal. 

Kaul and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) each ran last year on pledges to withdraw Wisconsin from the lawsuits. Republican lawmakers passed legislation during the lame-duck session in December seeking to prevent Kaul and Evers from withdrawing the state from the lawsuits. But according to the Journal, a state judge earlier this year permitted them to ask to get out of the lawsuits. 

-Updated at 9:49 p.m. ET


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