In a major victory for the Constitution and for House Republicans, a federal judge ruled that the Obama administration didn’t fund Obamacare’s subsidies properly.
A lawsuit by house Republicans claimed that the Obama Administration was distributing money to health insurance companies that hadn’t allocated by congress. Today U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer agreed, ordering the administration to stop doling out the Affordable Care Act’s “cost-sharing” payments to insurers until it gets an appropriation from Congress. Judge Collyer then stayed her ruling pending appeal.
The cost-sharing program reimburses insurers who have reduced co-pays and deductibles for qualified Obamacare enrollees as a condition of participating in the state-based health care exchanges.
GOP lawmakers say Congress never authorized spending for the program, and indeed zeroed out funding for it, so Mr. Obama was breaking the law.
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Constitutionally congress, specifically the House of Representatives has the power of the purse therefore if the the money is not authorized the executive is not supposed spend it. However, the administration claims that the cost-sharing” payments are a permanent appropriation like the subsidies which go directly to the low income families that purchase Obamacare.
Judge Collyer ruled that an appropriation for the cost-sharing program “cannot be inferred.”
“Authorization and appropriation by Congress are nonnegotiable prerequisites to government spending,” she wrote.
If the ruling holds, this could result in a serious blow to the government takeover of the U.S. healthcare system. Already it looks as if consumers will be hit with high increases for their Obamacare plans beginning in October. With the loss of the subsidies insurance companies will be forced to increase their rates even higher, or drop out of Obamacare all together (like United Healthcare has already announced).
In the end this will lead to another healthcare battle in congress with the conservatives looking to replace Obamacare with a free-market alternative, and President Obama, Hillary Clinton and the other statists fighting for what they’ve always wanted, a single payer healthcare system which will increase the government’s control over your medical decisions.