Tags: GOP | Report | Obamacare | Payments | Unconstitutional

House GOP Report: Obamacare's 'Cost Sharing' Payments Unconstitutional

Image: House GOP Report: Obamacare's 'Cost Sharing' Payments Unconstitutional
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By    |   Thursday, 07 Jul 2016 12:12 PM

The Obama administration is unconstitutionally providing Obamacare funding — even though officials knew they didn't have the authority to do so, a damning new report by House Republicans charges.

The conclusion from a GOP investigation — released Thursday by both the House Ways and Means and House Energy and Commerce committees — argues Obamacare's "cost sharing reduction" payments to insurers, which help lower health costs for low-income enrollees, is illegal because it comes without congressional appropriation.

House Republicans successfully sued over the payments last May; the administration is appealing the decision.

The GOP report also finds the Obama administration initially recognized it didn't have the authority to make these payments, citing a 2012 memo from the Treasury Department to the White House Office of Management and Budget that stated "there is currently no appropriation to Treasury or to anyone else, for purposes of the cost-sharing payments."

The report noted the administration submitted to Congress a request for an appropriation for the program in 2013, but later that year, Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Financial Resources Ellen Murray withdrew the request in a "highly unusual" phone call to the staff director of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

In late 2013, OMB produced a legal memorandum to justify making the payments without a congressional appropriation, The Hill reports.

House Republicans also argue the administration has obstructed its investigation, by failing to provide documents even after subpoenas were issued.

According to the committees' report, the administration has now spent more than $7 billion without a congressional appropriation.
 
Democrats denounced the probe as politically motivated.

"House Republicans are not conducting meaningful oversight, but are instead taking every opportunity to undermine the law and root for its failure," Democratic Reps. Sandy Levin of Michigan and Frank Pallone of New Jersey said, The Hill reports.
 
"Unfortunately, they are taking actions that will deny much needed healthcare coverage to their own constituents."

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The Obama administration is unconstitutionally providing Obamacare funding - even though officials knew they didn't have the authority to do so, a damning new report by House Republicans charges.
GOP, Report, Obamacare, Payments, Unconstitutional
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2016-12-07
Thursday, 07 Jul 2016 12:12 PM
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