U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer ruled on Thursday that the Obama administration is unconstitutionally spending money to fund Obamacare, the Associated Press (AP) reports.
House Republicans brought the charges against the Obama administration, and Collyer ruled in their favor.
The funding in question is about $175 billion that the Obama administration is paying health insurance companies to lower the co-payments for lower income customers. According to the AP, "[t]he disputed subsidies help lower-earning people afford out-of-pocket costs such as annual insurance deductibles and co-payments when they visit doctors."
But House Republicans say they never allocated money in the federal budget to fund this initiative, and that they even denied an Obama administration's request for it. However in typical "pen and phone" fashion, the Obama administration spent the money regardless of Congress' decision.
The Washington Times reported that both the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Health and Human Services argued that they were not in the wrong, because there is a "permanent appropriation" that "also covers Obamacare's exchange subsidies."
But Collyer was not particularly impressed with the secretaries' arguments.
“None of the secretaries’ extra-textual arguments — whether based on economics, ‘unintended’ results, or legislative history — is persuasive,” Collyer wrote.