(NASHVILLE), January 15, 2015 – Senator Brian Kelsey (R-Germantown) and Representative Jeremy Durham (R-Franklin) today filed legislation that would prevent individuals and businesses in Tennessee from being assessed fees under Obamacare if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiffs in the case of King v. Burwell. The Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments on the case in March which, in effect, challenges the administration’s regulations on citizens in states which did not set up state healthcare exchanges in conjunction with the federal act.
“This bill will stop the IRS from penalizing Tennesseans for not signing up for Obamacare,” said Senator Kelsey. “It also prevents Tennessee from operating any Obamacare exchanges in the future.”
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim that the section of the law authorizing the government to distribute tax credits and assess penalties applies only when states choose to run their healthcare exchanges. The law does not explicitly state that the tax credits and penalties apply when the federal government runs the exchange. Tennessee is one of the 25 states that have chosen to force the federal government to run its exchange. Senate bill 72 would prohibit Tennessee from running the exchange in the future if the plaintiffs receive a favorable ruling the case. A decision on the case is expected by in June after the Tennessee General Assembly has adjourned.
“The Supreme Court could overturn half of Obamacare, and this bill will prepare our citizens for that,” Durham concluded.
A draft of the bill is available at: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/109/Bill/SB0072.pdf