health-care

Panic Prompted ObamaCare Lawlessness

report issued last week jointly by the House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce committees explores how the administration came to unlawfully funnel $7 billion in unappropriated money to insurers through a single ObamaCare program.

The program — known as cost-sharing reduction (CSR) — requires insurers to reduce deductibles and other out-of-pocket spending for certain low-income people who signed up for coverage through health insurance exchanges. In turn, the statute authorized the administration to seek an appropriation from Congress to reimburse insurers for the cost of providing these coverage enhancements.

The congressional report chronicles how the administration determined as early as 2010 that it needed an appropriation to make CSR payments to insurers. In April 2013, the president submitted a budget to Congress formally requesting the appropriation.

But in July, the Senate Appropriations Committee, then controlled by Democrats, expressly denied the president’s request. Sometime after Congress refused to fund the program, the administration contrived the theory that it could spend money without an appropriation.

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