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House, Trump admin seek to keep ObamaCare payments on hold

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The House and the Trump administration are asking to keep a pause on a years-long court battle over the legality of crucial ObamaCare payments to insurers, while Democratic attorneys general are seeking for the case to proceed.

In 2014, the House sued the Obama administration, arguing it was funding key payments to insurers illegally, alleging that there wasn’t a direct appropriation from Congress. The House won, and the Obama administration appealed the ruling.


Since then, the case has been repeatedly delayed. But much has happened since the last delay: Earlier this month, President Trump decided to stop making cost-sharing reduction payments, which compensate insurers for lowering the out-of-pocket costs for certain ObamaCare consumers.

The House and the Department of Health and Human Services and Treasury Department are seeking to continue the pause on the case to determine what actions to take now that Trump isn’t making the cost-sharing reduction payments.

“In light of the changed circumstances, plaintiff and defendants are actively discussing the disposition of this case and hope to file a motion with this Court in furtherance of those efforts in the coming weeks,” according to a joint status report from the House and the administration filed Monday.  

Another facet of the court case: The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled this summer that Democratic state attorneys general can defend the payments. The AGs are seeking for the original initial ruling to be reversed and, in a status report filed Monday, argue the case shouldn’t be delayed any longer as the Trump administration has stopped making the CSR payments.

A group of state attorneys general also sought to force the White House to make the CSR payments, but a federal court in California denied the request last week.


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