Published May 22, 2017
Republicans are seeking another 90-day extension in a federal court case centered on insurer payments under ObamaCare, as congressional lawmakers and the Trump administration consider a broader legislative package to replace the existing law.
Democrats say the push to delay will only add more “uncertainty” to the program.
The case involves federal payments that insurers use to lower deductibles and copayments for people with modest incomes purchasing individual policies under the Affordable Care Act. About $7 billion is at stake.
The suit originally was filed by House Republicans during the Obama administration. A lower court ruled that the government lacks constitutional authority to make the payments because Congress failed to specifically approve them.
But both the Obama and Trump administrations have kept paying while the case is pending, though President Trump at times has suggested he'd stop.
The status update filed with the court by House Republicans and the Trump administration’s Justice Department notes that they continue to “discuss measures that would obviate the need for judicial determination of this appeal, including potential legislative action.”
This is a reference to the legislative effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. A bill passed the House earlier this month.
“We continue to work with the Trump administration on a solution,” said AshLee Strong, spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Critics say dragging out the case could drive premiums higher next year.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., accused Republicans of “cynically” adding to the uncertainty in health coverage.
“At a critical period when insurers are deciding premiums for next year, Republicans are pouring uncertainty into the health insurance marketplaces,” she said.
Fox News’ Chad Pergram and The Associated Press contributed to this report.