Federal judge denies Dem AG’s request to force Obamacare payments

Dec 2014
The Milky Way
A federal judge in California refused a request by Democratic attorneys general Wednesday to resume critical Obamacare payments, forcing the issue squarely into Congress’s lap as GOP leaders and President Trump decide whether to back a bipartisan bill that approves the money for two more years.

U.S. District Court Judge Vince Chhabria said the Trump administration, which cut off the “cost-sharing reductions” earlier this month, appeared to have the better legal argument at this stage, since GOP lawmakers already secured a judgment against President Obama for paying insurers without Congress’ approval.

Second, he said many of the complaining states had taken steps to insulate their residents from the fallout, despite sky-is-falling rhetoric from attorneys who sought relief.

“State regulators have been working for months to prepare for the termination of these payments. And although you wouldn’t know it from reading the states’ papers in this lawsuit, the truth is that most state regulators have devised responses that give millions of lower-income people better health coverage options than they would otherwise have had,” he wrote. “This is true in almost all the states joining this lawsuit.”