Trump passes up first real chance to end Obamacare

President Trump had his first real chance to can the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Instead, he kicked the can down the road.

In 2015, the Republican-led House of Representatives sued the Obama administration over subsidies paid to insurance companies. That money helps provide for lower premiums and deductibles. Though the money is specified in the law, Congress had not allocated it since 2014. Therefore, House leaders claimed, the Obama administration violated the constitution by spending money Congress did not allocate.

The case is House v. Price (changed from House v. Burwell when Tom Price became Secretary of Health and Human Services).

In May 2016, a federal court judge agreed with the House leaders’ argument and ruled against the administration. The administration immediately appealed, and the judge allowed the payments to continue during the appeal process.

With Trump now as the head of the administration, he had until late February to decide whether to continue the appeal or simply drop it.

Had he dropped it, the court’s decision would have become permanent and payments to insurance companies would stop immediately. Unless Congress were to authorize the payments (with Trump’s approval), several insurance companies either would need to increase premiums significantly or drop out of the marketplace — causing many to lose health care coverage.

The administration has until May 22 to decide its next steps, and to provide the court with status reports every three months afterward.

You can read more on the status of Obamacare under the Trump administration at Lobby99.org.

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