A federal judge ruled on Thursday in favor of Republicans challenging a portion of Obamacare. The portion of the Affordable Care Act in question is the “cost sharing” provision that requires insurance companies to reduce out-of-pocket costs for qualifying policyholders if offering health plans through the law.
House lawyers made the argument that Congress never properly approved the money for these reimbursements.
Rosemary Collyer, U.S. District Judge, ruled in favor of the challengers, but would stay her ruling pending appeal. She noted in her decision that “Congress is the only source for such an appropriation” and that public money cannot be spent without one.
The Obama administration will likely appeal the decision.
House lawyer Jonathan Turley stated that the ruling indicates that the health care law violates the Constitution because it committed billions of dollars from the Treasury without Congress’ approval.
Josh Earnest, White House press secretary, called the Republicans’ efforts “unprecedented,” and anticipates that the administration would win the appeal.
John Boehner, former House Speaker, called the suit a victory for House Republicans and the American people.
If the judge’s opinion holds, insurers will need to find a way to provide the cost-sharing reductions, and that would likely come in the form of higher premiums in the future.