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The Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, faced yet another setback.
In addition to escalating premiums, skyrocketing deductibles and rising patient co-pays, a federal judge ruled Thursday that certain payments made to insurers by President Obama’s signature health care plan are unconstitutional.
At issue were payments made by the administration to insurers with the intention of reducing co-pays by lower-income people, a provision that was never made a part of the Affordable Care Act.
When Congress denied the administration’s request to make the payments a part of the act, the administration went ahead with the program anyway.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer made her ruling in the lawsuit filed by House Republicans, but set her decision aside pending appeal by the administration.
“Today’s ruling by the DC federal court is an important step toward restoring the separation of powers and stopping President Obama’s power grab. The Constitution is very clear: it is Congress’ job to write our laws and it is the President’s duty to enforce them,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said in a statement.
Fox News reported:
At issue was a $175 million program authorizing payments to insurers that Republicans claimed were not appropriated by Congress. On the question of whether the money could be distributed anyway under another program, Collyer wrote in her opinion: “It cannot.”
“None of the Secretaries’ extra-textual arguments – whether based on economics, ‘unintended’ results, or legislative history – is persuasive,” she wrote. “The Court will enter judgment in favor of the House of Representatives and enjoin the use of unappropriated monies to fund reimbursements due to insurers” under that section.
She added that Congress didn’t allocate funds for that program, and that the law was “clear.”
Collyer, a George W. Bush appointee, said she would stay her injunction in order to give the administration a chance to file an appeal.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was dismissive of the ruling when asked, and said this wasn’t the GOP’s first time at bat against Obamacare, adding that “they’ll lose it again.”
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Clip via Fox News Channel.
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