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Finding out what’s not in it: A federal court ruled today that the Obama administration had no legal right to issue subsidies to insurers that have not been appropriated by Congress.
The court was quite blunt about the White House’s illegal activities here:
Paying out Section 1402 reimbursements without an appropriation thus violates the Constitution. Congress authorized reduced cost sharing but did not appropriate monies for it, in the FY 2014 budget or since. Congress is the only source for such an appropriation, and no public money can be spent without one. See U.S. Constitution, Art. I, § 9, cl. 7 (“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law . . . .”). The Secretaries’ textual and contextual arguments fail.
Not surprisingly, the Obama administration rejects the court’s decision.