- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Justice Department formally signaled Wednesday it will appeal a May ruling that said the administration is unlawfully reimbursing insurers under Obamacare.

The two-page notice to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit was hardly a surprise, since the White House had vowed to fight the decision by U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer, who said the “cost-sharing” payments should have been explicitly authorized by Congress.

House Republicans had sued to stop the payments, saying the administration broke the law and trod on Congress’s fundamental powers by paying Obamacare insurers without permission from Capitol Hill.

The cost-sharing payments are not as well-known as government subsidies that defray premiums for people who buy private plans on the Affordable Care Act’s web-based exchanges. But they are a vital part of the program for insurers who are required to reduce costs for poorer customers on Obamacare’s exchanges.

Judge Collyer said the payments must stop until Congress permits them, though she stayed that order pending an appeal.

The White House has predicted victory in the higher courts.

“Despite the efforts to defame, to defund and to discard the Affordable Care Act, the truth is that it has served as a steward of freedom, for it’s liberated millions of Americans from fear and provided them with a peace of mind,” President Obama’s chief of staff, Denis McDonough, told Obamacare allies in May.

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