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While the Supreme Court is considering the King v. Burwell case about the IRS illegally funding a part of ObamaCare (the subsidies), last week it was revealed that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has… illegally funded another part of ObamaCare.
At issue is nearly $3 billion in payments made to insurers to help cover losses caused by ObamaCare’s various regulations and insurance mandates – effectively a bailout to prevent insurers from raising prices as much next year. The Washington Examiner’s Philip Klein writes:
“The U.S. Treasury Department has rebuffed a request by House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis., to explain $3 billion in payments that were made to health insurers even though Congress never authorized the spending through annual appropriations.”
As Klein also notes, the Obama Administration itself acknowledged that they needed Congressional funding for this bailout money, by including a request for that money in its annual budget. Thus, the Treasury's response to Ryan, which was effectively a middle finger to Congress.
All this is just the latest instance of the Obama Administration blatantly ignoring the law with respect to their signature accomplishment, ObamaCare. As previously mentioned, the IRS chose to literally rewrite the law to allow them to distribute tens of billions of dollars in insurance subsidies to 36 states. And the White House has made over two dozen other unilateral changes to the law since its passage in 2010.
Congress has the clear, unambiguous, and sole legal power to authorize how much and where the federal government may spend our money. This illegal bailout should not even be a partisan issue - it is about whether Congress is any longer relevant in a government increasingly dominated by the executive branch.