Democrat AG's seek to force payment of subsidies court has ruled illegal
Democratic state attorneys general can intervene in a court case over critical Obamacare payments that President Trump has threatened to cut off, a federal appeals court said Tuesday, finding the states demonstrated the risk of premium hikes and an uptick in the number of uninsured people seeking expensive care at state-funded hospitals.The payments are unconstitutional because they were never appropriated by Congress. In a sane world, the Democrat AG's would not have standing to bring a case against the President for abiding by an earlier court ruling. Obama just ignored the constitution to save his deeply flawed health care scheme.
More than a dozen AGs led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman asked to intervene in the lawsuit because Mr. Trump hasn’t said whether he will make the next set of payments for “cost-sharing reductions” that reimburse insurers who pick up low-income customers’ costs on Obamacare’s exchanges.
Without the payments, insurers say they will increase their premiums by an average of 20 percent next year, because they are required to pay those costs whether the government pays them whole or not.
“The States have shown a substantial risk that an injunction requiring termination of the payments at issue here … would lead directly and imminently to an increase in insurance prices, which in turn will increase the number of uninsured individuals for whom the States will have to provide health care,” a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit wrote.
Mr. Trump is hoping to use the payments as leverage and force Democrats to the negotiating table on health care. He reissued his threat in the wake of the stunning collapse of Senate Republican efforts to prolong the debate over repealing the 2010 Affordable Care Act.
Democrats say those the cost-sharing payments must continue, even though Congress has never approved them. President Obama paid them anyway, and lost a court battle in which a judge side with House Republicans who said the payments were illegal.