A federal judge ruled Thursday that the Obama administration’s additional spending to cover the rising costs of Obamacare is unconstitutional.
Judge Rosemary Collyer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of House Republicans, agreeing that it was unconstitutional for the President of the United States to spend funds that had not been appropriated by Congress.
The 38-page opinion details repeated constitutional complaints from conservative Republicans that “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law,” while the administration paid billions to insurers to subsidize policies for lower-income Americans.
Judge Rosemary Collyer stated, “Paying out Sec. 1402 reimbursements without an appropriation thus violates the Constitution.” She added, “Congress is the only source for such an appropriation, and no public money can be spent without one.”
As Breitbart News noted earlier in the week:
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office’s latest estimate for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) anticipates that the cost of tax credits to subsidize insurers participating in exchanges will rise from $37 billion in fiscal year 2015 to $56 billion in 2016, and $105 billion by 2025.
Despite an Obama administration estimate in March 2010 that the average cost of subsidies per enrollee would be about $2,810, the average cost for the 13 million subscribers in 2016 averaged $4,308.
The Republicans originally sued the President claiming he had violated the law by delaying the enforcement of several key provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, i.e. Obamacare. But the plaintiff’s lawyers added the exploding reimbursements for health insurers, which are is now estimated to reach $175 billion over a decade.
The Obama administration did not dispute the ballooning costs, but claimed the suit should be dismissed on the technical basis that the House had no legal standing to sue and unlimited reimbursements were authorized under the law.
Breitbart News warned that with UnitedHealthcare withdrawing and Humana threatening to leave Obamacare, “shrinking competition is freeing premiums to skyrocket this year.” Loss of reimbursement would quickly tank any insurer participation at all.
Judge Collyer issued an immediate order stopping further reimbursements, but then stayed its implementation so that the administration could try to appeal the ruling.