House lawsuit challenging ACA implementation gets day in court
A lawsuit filed by House Republicans challenging two key facets of Affordable Care Act implementation will get its day in U.S. District Court, the Associated Press reported.
The lawsuit, filed in November, alleges that the Obama administration overstepped its executive authority when it delayed the employer mandate and authorized the use of Treasury Department funds to compensate insurers for losses incurred as a result of ACA implementation, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.
An action such as delaying the employer mandate requires legislative action, the lawsuit said. Meanwhile, Congress needs to appropriate the $175 billion payment to insurers over a 10-year period, according to the lawsuit; the funding can't come from the Treasury.
"Time and again, the president has chosen to rewrite the law whenever it suits him, ignoring the will of the American people and the Constitution itself," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. "Dozens of these unilateral actions involve [the ACA], and the House is challenging two egregious examples that undermine the separation of powers."
Justice Department attorneys representing the Obama administration argue that the lawsuit is based on general objections to the ACA itself, adding that the executive branch is simply implementing statutes enacted by a previous Congress, the AP reported.
The lawsuit marks the first time the House of Representatives has sued a sitting president, according to the AP. Previous attempts by members of Congress to sue past administrations were dismissed before reaching the Supreme Court, the article said.