House of Representatives v. Burwell – a New Challenge to Obamacare

There is a new lawsuit moving forward to strike down the Affordable Care Act.

Analysis: House of Representatives v. Burwell

“Yesterday, D.D.C. ruled that the House of Representatives suit against the Obama Administration could proceed. The House raised two claims–one you are likely familiar with, one you are likely not familiar with. When this suit was first being discussed last summer, it was initially conceived to challenge the Obama administration’s delay of the employer mandate. However, when the complaint was ultimately filed, an additional claim was added, that you are less likely familiar with. It contends that that the Obama Administration is paying subsidies to insurance companies that were never appropriated. Unlike King v. Burwell, which involved premium tax credits, this case involves cost-sharing subsidies. These payments are made to the insurers to help cover the costs of Obamacare enrollees with lower income. (That is a gross oversimplification–read Sarah Kliff and Andrew Prokop’s explanation of the facts at Vox). Judge Collyer found that the House has standing to sue on the latter claim, but not the former.”

And this is the conclusion:

” Because of the posture of the interlocutory appeal, the only question involved is whether the House has standing. There is no discussion of the merits. So even if this case makes it to the Supreme Court, the only question is whether the House can proceed. The Court would not have to render any decision on the merits. As happened in Zivotofsky, in 2012 the Court found there was standing, but in 2015 on a 5-4 decision, he lost on the merits. It is not inconceivable that allowing the suit to proceed, but stopping it on the merits, could be the option for this case three years down the road.”

Here is a complete analysis.

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