No matter what the Democrats or the Supreme Court believes, the fact of the matter is that the Affordable Care Act has been, and still is a bad choice for the people.
Obamacare has nor offered anything new to the people for the majority of its existence and, furthermore, one high-ranking Democrat acknowledged that Obamacare even violated the law.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s call to Mitch McConnell to cooperate in order to amend Obamacare has one paragraph that reveals more than Schumer intended:
Democrats are eager to work with Republicans to stabilize the markets and improve [Obamacare]. At the top of the list should be ensuring cost-sharing payments are permanent, which will protect health care for millions.
Even though this passage doesn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary, Chuck Schumer’s confession that the cost-sharing payments are not at the moment permanent, and should be made so with a new law, bears no resemblance to the rhetoric former Democratic leaders have used, and it should, if the Affordable Care Act is to keep its legal credibility.
Section 1302 of Obamacare requires health insurers to reduce cost-sharing (i.e., deductibles, co-payments, etc.) for certain low-income enrollees who buy silver plans on health insurance exchanges. The law directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to create a program to reimburse insurers for the cost of providing those cost-sharing discounts. But the text of the law does not actually disburse funds to HHS—or any other cabinet department—to make the reimbursement payments to insurers.
Not wanting to be bound by such niceties as the rule of law, the Obama administration started making the payments to insurers anyway, claiming the “text and structure” of Obamacare allowed them to do so. The House of Representatives sued, claiming a violation of its constitutional “power of the purse,” and last May, Judge Rosemary Collyer agreed, ruling that the administration violated the Constitution […]
Schumer’s statement last Thursday stands out because the Obama administration and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have claimed, both in court and elsewhere, that Obamacare made a permanent appropriation for the cost-sharing payments. The law did no such thing, and a federal district court judge so ruled, but they attempted to argue that it did.
This basically suggests that by “conceding that Obamacare lacks a permanent appropriation for cost-sharing reductions,” Chuck Schumer has implied the payments the administration made were not approved by Congress. And according to Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”
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