We’ve covered this issue multiple times in the past. As The Times article below points out the Obama Administration basically appropriated funds without Congress (It’s not supposed to work that way.) in an effort to indemnify health insurers who were hemorrhaging money due to Obamacare. Without the money Obamacare would have failed even more quickly.
Obama and company thought they’d get away with it. If they could limp along until President Hillary Clinton came in the White House then they could dump this problem in her lap. Perhaps she’d even have a Democrat Congress that would bail out the insurance companies with the blessing of the legislative branch. (If not taxpayers.)
Things, as we know, didn’t work out that way.
(From The New York Times)
Obama administration officials knew they were on shaky ground in spending billions of dollars on health insurance subsidies without clear authority. But they did not think a long-shot court challenge by House Republicans was cause for deep concern.
For one thing, they would be out of office by the time a final ruling in the case, filed in 2014, was handed down. They also believed that a preliminary finding against the administration would ultimately be tossed out. Finally, they figured that President Hillary Clinton could take care of the problem, if necessary.
Well, they are out of office, Mrs. Clinton is not president and the uncertain status of the cost-sharing payments now looms as the biggest threat to the stability of the insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act. A dubious decision made by the previous White House has handed the current administration a powerful weapon to wield against the health care legislation that it despises.
“The administration should not have found an appropriation where none existed,” said Nicholas Bagley, a University of Michigan law professor who has studied and written about the issue…
…the Obama administration had no explicit authority to pay as much as $130 billion over 10 years to insurance companies to cover out-of-pocket health costs for millions of lower-income Americans obtaining insurance on the new health exchanges. At the same time, she found that the Republican-led House had the standing to sue the administration