Last week, U.S. District Court of Appeals Judge Rosemary Collyer issued a ruling in House v. Burwell that could cripple the law. In her opinion, the President overstepped his Constitutional authority in granting cost sharing subsidies for those lacking insurance coverage since budgetary approval is required from Congress.
The specific constitutional question is this: Did the administration or specifically the Secretaries of Health and Human Services and Treasury violate Article I, §9, cl 7 of the U.S. Constitution when they “spent public monies that were not appropriated by the Congress.” (United States House of Representatives v. Burwell, 130 F. Supp. 3d 53, 81 D.D.C. 2015). The constitution is explicit:
No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time. (U.S. Const. art. I, § 9, cl. 7.) The courts will have to decide if the portion of the cost sharing subsidies (ACA Sections 1401, 1402) disbursed by the federal government without Congressional authorization violates the law.