• WisPolitics


Thursday, March 20, 2014

 8:20 AM 

Feds seek dismissal of Johnson's Obamacare lawsuit

The federal government has urged a court to dismiss U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson's lawsuit over coverage of congressional staffers through Obamacare, arguing he hasn't suffered any harm because of the law.

The government's motion, filed Monday, argues Johnson and his aide -- also part of the suit -- haven't argued the regs have had an adverse effect on their own health coverage. Rather, they allege other injuries such as making them "complicit" in what they believe is a violation of the law and the situation threatens Johnson's "credibility and reputation" among constituents.

But the government says those charges don't rise to the level needed to give Johnson standing to sue over the regulations.

"The Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit have held time and again that a mere interest in seeing laws obeyed is not a 'legally protected' interest that can support standing, and that personal offense or indignation at a supposed transgression of law is not a 'concrete and particularized' injury," government lawyers wrote in the brief.

Johnson, R-Oshkosh, filed the suit in January against the Office of Personnel Management. He charged the agency's determination that staffers could continue to receive subsidies for insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act's exchanges violates the health care law.

Johnson said the government didn't focus on the substance of his lawsuit in its filing.

"That is because it is very difficult for the administration to defend this highly political executive action when millions of ordinary Americans are suffering under the full harsh realities of Obamacare," Johnson said. "Whether or not I have demonstrated sufficient harm to obtain standing before the court is a disputable question. What is beyond dispute is the significant damage that already has been done to real people as a direct result of Obamacare."


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