via The Daily Signal:
by Melissa Quinn | March 16, 2016
A $5 billion lawsuit filed by a nonprofit insurer against the Obama administration for a program implemented under Obamacare is raising questions about the use of a fund available for settlements with the government and whether Congress can, and should, intervene.
According to legal experts, if the Obama administration decided to settle its class action lawsuit with Health Republic Insurance of Oregon, one of 23 co-ops started under Obamacare, and other insurers for all or part of the $5 billion it’s seeking, the money would come from the Judgment Fund, an indefinite appropriation created by Congress and administered by the Department of Treasury.
Republicans have criticized the Obama administration for promising insurance companies payouts through the risk corridor program, a temporarily program aimed at mitigating risk for insurers participating in Obamacare.
GOP lawmakers argue the program amounts to an insurer bailout.
Because Congress oversaw the appropriation of money for the risk corridor program—or lack thereof—Chandler said lawmakers on Capitol Hill have the power to intervene in the risk corridor lawsuit.
“In the cost-sharing reductions lawsuit, what Congress seems to be complain about is the executive branch spending money out of the Treasury without any appropriation by Congress,” he said. “In this lawsuit, it’s the same thing—trying to prevent the lawsuit from becoming a vehicle whereby the administration pays money that has not been appropriated.” (Read More)
Read the full article at The Daily Signal