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Thread: Federal judge strikes down Obamacare payments

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Federal judge strikes down Obamacare payments

    Federal judge strikes down Obamacare payments

    Richard Wolf, Gregory Korte and Jayne O'Donnell, USA TODAY
    3:04 p.m. EDT May 12, 2016


    (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite, AP)


    WASHINGTON — Republicans won the first round Thursday in a separation of powers battle against President Obama that once again focuses on his most prized achievement: Obamacare.

    Federal district Judge
    Rosemary Collyer, a Republican appointee, ruled that the law did not provide for the funds insurers need to make health insurance policies under the program affordable.


    While the law provides for tax credits, she said, it does not authorize an appropriation for slashing deductibles and copayments. Without those reductions from insurers, many consumers could not afford to buy insurance.


    "Congress authorized reduced cost-sharing but did not appropriate monies for it,," Collyer said in her 38-page ruling. "Congress is the only source for such an appropriation, and no public money can be spent without one."


    Collyer blocked her own decision from taking effect while awaiting a likely appeal from the administration.


    Cost-sharing subsidies reduce consumers' insurance payments — an important feature of the
    Affordable Care Act, because deductibles are rising. Under the law, subsidies are available to people who earn between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that’s about $24,000 to $61,000.


    The Commonwealth Fund estimated up to 7 million people might have plans with cost-sharing reductions this year.


    The ruling does not represent as big a threat to the health care law as two previous conservative challenges swatted down by the Supreme Court in 2012 and 2015. The first would have gutted the law; the second would have eliminated tax credits in many states.


    “It’s a setback, and it’s a distraction … but a lot of people think the administration will win on appeal,” said Katherine Hempstead, who heads the insurance coverage team at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a public health philanthropy.


    House Speaker Paul Ryan heralded the decision as "an historic win for the Constitution ... the executive branch is being held accountable."


    The Republican-controlled House voted to sue Obama over his executive actions in July 2014. The health care lawsuit was initiated four months later.


    Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law professor who represented the House of Representatives in the lawsuit, called the opinion a historic ruling reaffirming Congress’s power of the purse.


    “Judge Collyer’s opinion is a resounding victory not just for Congress but for our constitutional system as a whole,” he said in a statement on his blog. “We remain a system based on the principle of the separation of powers and the guarantee that no branch or person can govern alone.”


    White House press secretary Josh Earnest was dismissive of the decision. “It’s not the first time that we’ve seen opponents of the Affordable Care Act go through the motions to try to win this political fight in the court system,” he said.


    “It’s unfortunate that Republicans have resorted to a taxpayer-funded lawsuit to re-fight a political fight that they keep losing. They’ve been fighting this fight for six years, and they’ll lose it again.”


    Elizabeth Wydra, president of the liberal Constitutional Accountability Center and the lawyer for House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the court challenge, called it an "unprecedented ruling allowing a partisan faction of Congress to use the courts to settle a political dispute over the interpretation of a statute." She predicted it would be overruled in federal appeals court.


    Collyer previously denied Republicans' effort to sue over another aspect of the law — the administration's unilateral delay in implementing its mandate that most large employers offer health insurance or pay a penalty. While GOP opponents didn't object to delay, they argued Obama lacked the authority to do it without congressional approval.

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/p...cans/84281474/

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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    So what does that do to the people who signed up for Obama Care? Does this mean they'll have to pay more?
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  3. #3
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Congress can come up with the funding,

    or people can pay more.

    Some people who can't pay more will lose their coverage.
    Last edited by JohnDoe2; 05-12-2016 at 06:03 PM.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    That seems to be the only 3 options, JohnDoe2.

    I think this court case is an example of grabbing defeat out of the jaws of victory when the goal should be to grab victory out of the jaws of defeat.
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Hospitals, Insurers Drop on Ruling Against Obamacare Funding

    John Lauerman
    May 12, 2016 — 11:03 AM PDT Updated on May 12, 2016 — 1:20 PM PDT


    • Tenet, HCA, Anthem, Aetna shares slide after court decision
    • Federal court says subsidies require appropriation by Congress


    Hospital and insurer stocks dropped after a federal judge in Washington ruled that some of the funding for President Barack Obama’s signature health-care law is unconstitutional, potentially jeopardizing a source of their revenue.

    Community Health Systems Inc. fell 11 percent to $12.56 at the New York close. Tenet Healthcare Corp. dropped 9.8 percent to $28.41 and HCA Holdings Inc., the biggest U.S. for-profit hospital chain, was down 3.2 percent to $77.69. Shares of health insurers, including Anthem Inc. and Aetna Inc., also declined.


    In another blow dealt to the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Thursday that the administration doesn’t have the power to provide money to reduce patients’ share of the costs of their health care without a congressional appropriation. The court stayed its ruling pending an appeal by the administration.


    Hospitals could be directly affected by the ruling. Government subsidies have helped patients afford coverage for expensive hospital stays and procedures, contributing to the bottom line at hospital companies.

    Ending those subsidies might discourage patients from signing up for insurance and exacerbate problems with unpaid bills that already plague hospitals.


    Cost-Sharing Subsidies


    Without the cost-sharing payment reductions, insurers also may find it difficult to offer plans under Obamacare, which has requirements for cost and coverage at a variety of levels. Collyer noted in her ruling that under the Affordable Care Act, insurers’ obligation to reduce cost-sharing doesn’t depend on whether they receive government reimbursement.
    About 71 percent of plans bought through Obamacare marketplaces, called exchanges, were so-called “silver plans” that provide subsidies to some low-income members, said Chris Rigg, an analyst at Susquehanna Financial Group, in a note to clients.

    “A loss of cost-sharing subsidies would have a detrimental impact on industry earnings,” Rigg said in the note.


    Signed into law in March 2010, the Affordable Care Act has been under near-constant legal assault. House Republicans have tried more than 50 times through legislation to repeal all or part of the law. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the law’s requirement that all Americans obtain health insurance in June 2012.

    Still, Thursday’s ruling is a victory for the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which brought the suit challenging the payments and alleging that Health and Human Services and Treasury secretaries were spending “public monies not appropriated by the Congress.”

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articl...macare-funding

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  6. #6
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    We should not subsidize those that are in the program illegally.

    ILLEGAL ALIENS RECEIVED $750 MILLION IN OBAMACARE SUBSIDIES



    Tue, FEB 23rd 2016 @ 12:35 pm EST

    A new Senate report found that around 500,000 illegal aliens received up to $750 million in Obamacare subsides as of June 2015 despite the law specifically excluding them from the subsidies.

    The report was compiled by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and was based on a review launched by the committee Chairman, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.). The report said that, “the administration awarded approximately $750 million in tax credits on behalf of individuals who were later determined to be ineligible because they failed to verify their citizenship, status as a national, or legal presence.”

    According to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services spokesman, Aaron Albright, “lack of verification does not mean an individual is ineligible for financial assistance, but only that a Marketplace did not receive sufficient information to verify eligibility in the time period outlined in the law.”

    The federal government still grants the subsidies on a “temporary basis” to those who cannot verify their citizenship in the time period allowed. Their credits are still paid in advance to the insurers. If the recipient is still unable to verify their immigration status, then funding and coverage is suspended and the IRS is supposed to receive overpayments back from the individuals that were wrongly covered.

    The report criticized this “pay and chase” method and predicted that the IRS would be “unable to fully recoup the funds.”
    Read more on this story at FoxNews.com.

    https://www.numbersusa.com/news/ille...care-subsidies



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  7. #7
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Newmexican likes this.
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