|By Wayne Greene, Tulsa World, Okla.|
In a Monday filing, the federal attorneys ask
The state lacks any legal standing to make its key claim that the law's tax penalties against employers who fail to provide adequate health insurance to their workers can't be enforced in
Pruitt's claim rests on the fact that
Pruitt doesn't make any claims about the insurance provided to state government employees, but the federal response says those benefits are "relatively generous" and it is unlikely the state would be subject to any penalties under the law.
While the federal response rejects the idea that the tax penalties can't come through a federal exchange, the crux of the argument is that the claim could only be made by a employer who is subjected to the tax, and then only after they have received and paid a tax bill, which wouldn't come until 2014.
"...(A)ny claim for relief from the large employer tax penalty belongs to the employer itself, not the state," the filing says.
While Pruitt's case argued that treating a federal exchange like a state exchange commandeers the state's constitutional authority, the federal filing says that position is logically and legally flawed.
The legal memo points out that Pruitt's action seeks to deny some 381,500 uninsured Oklahomans with federal subsidies to help them purchase private insurance. The average subsidy would be more than
"In this case,
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|Source:||McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|