Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has made a name from his principled opposition to a number of former President Barack Obama’s unconstitutional executive actions and legislative agenda items. As Texas’ chief legal officer, he has been instrumental in key legal fights against the federal government on immigration, onerous regulations, and healthcare.
On healthcare specifically, Paxton has been steadfast, arguing the portions of Obamacare that ban insurers from electing not to insure high-risk individuals, as well as the individual mandate, are unconstitutional.
In January, Congress — with pressure from U.S. Senator Ted Cruz — repealed the individual mandate that required every American to purchase private insurance. The challenge against required coverage of pre-existing conditions, however, continues.
Under Obama and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s Department of Justice (DOJ), taxpayers would have been on the hook to pay for the defense of blatantly unconstitutional laws. However, things are changing under the Trump administration.
On June 7, President Donald Trump’s DOJ filed a brief stating that it would not defend the prohibition of insurance denial to high-risk individuals, agreeing with the position that Texas and almost 20 other state attorneys general have taken on the matter.
This decision shows the Trump administration has no intention of defending the indefensible portions of Obama’s Affordable Care Act, a choice that saves taxpayers money and frees up the DOJ to focus on issues that Trump ran on: addressing unchecked illegal immigration and fighting the opioid crisis plaguing America.