UPDATE: Judge tosses Wisconsin senator's health care suit

UPDATED: Monday, July 21, 2014 --- 6:19 p.m.

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that Wisconsin Republican Sen. Ron Johnson filed to stop members of Congress and their employees from getting subsidized health insurance through small business exchanges.

U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ruled Monday that Johnson and a staff member who filed the lawsuit with him don't have grounds to bring the suit.

Griesbach says Johnson's belief that it is illegal for lawmakers and their staffs to get subsidized health insurance is not a strong enough reason to disqualify Johnson from its requirements.

It would be possible for him to just sidestep its requirements by refusing to designate employees to receive subsidies, the judge says.

Griesbach also says Johnson hasn't shown that voters would view him negatively if his staff received subsidized insurance.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press
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UPDATED Monday, July 7, 2014 --- 10:10 a.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A government attorney is trying to persuade a federal judge in Green Bay to toss out U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson's lawsuit challenging rules forcing congressional members and their employees to seek government-subsidized health insurance through small business exchanges.

U.S. Justice Department attorney James Luh told U.S. District Judge William Griesbach on Monday that Johnson can't sue because he hasn't shown how the rules have caused him any injury.

Johnson's attorney, Rick Esenberg, says Johnson is suffering an injury because he must decide which staff members should go through the exchanges. Esenberg also argued the rules force Johnson into illegal activity because he and his staffers aren't eligible for small business exchanges since they work for a huge employer.

It's unclear when Griesbach might rule.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press

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Posted Monday, July 7, 2014 --- 9:41 a.m.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- A federal judge is set to hear arguments in a Wisconsin senator's lawsuit challenging rules forcing congressional members and their staffs to seek government-subsidized health insurance through small business exchanges.

The Affordable Care Act requires Congress and its staffers to move off the federal employee health plan, which provided tax-free premium subsidies, and into an exchange. Obama's administration adopted rules preserving the subsidies if they use small business exchanges.

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, a Republican, filed suit in January alleging Congress and staffers can't use the exchanges because they work for a gigantic employer. He also argues the subsidies will alienate constituents.

Government attorneys have asked U.S. District Judge William Griesbach to toss the lawsuit. Greisbach has scheduled a hearing on the request for Monday morning in Green Bay.

Copyright 2014: Associated Press


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