So much for the Democrats’ professed respect for the rule of law.
Late Thursday President Trump announced he plans on stopping the Obama subsidy payments to insurance companies. The reason for the stoppage was a May 2016 federal court ruling that the payments were unconstitutional. In her ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer wrote that then-President Obama and his administration ignored constitutional limits on executive authority and congressional control of the purse strings.
Congress authorized reduced cost-sharing but did not appropriate monies for it. The Constitution says “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law,” Collyer noted, but the administration has continued to pay billions to insurers for their extra cost of providing health coverage.
“Paying [those] reimbursements without an appropriation thus violates the Constitution,” she wrote. “Congress is the only source for such an appropriation, and no public money can be spent without one.”
The president’s decision was based on a determination by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services that there has been no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare.
In light of that analysis, and Judge Collyer’s May 2016 ruling, the government cannot lawfully make the cost-sharing reduction payments. In other words, unlike the Obama administration, this Team Trump decided to follow a legal federal court ruling.
But that didn’t stop the Democrats from going crazy.
“Sadly, instead of working to lower health costs for Americans, it seems President Trump will singlehandedly hike Americans’ health premiums,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a joint statement.
“It is a spiteful act of vast, pointless sabotage leveled at working families and the middle class in every corner of America. Make no mistake about it, Trump will try to blame the Affordable Care Act, but this will fall on his back and he will pay the price for it,” they continued.
New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker added:
After failing to convince the American people & the majority of Senators, Trump is now forcing Trumpcare via executive order. It's sabotage.
— Sen. Cory Booker (@SenBooker) October 12, 2017
Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine (D-VA), said:
President Trump’s health care executive order may seem a little complicated so let me break it down: It’s sabotage.
— Tim Kaine (@timkaine) October 12, 2017
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who never meet a frivolous prosecution he didn’t love, must have missed the day in law school when they taught that you have to follow judges orders. He tweeted:
My message to President Trump is equally simple:
Once again, we’ll see you in court.
— NY AG Underwood (@NewYorkStateAG) October 13, 2017
California’s attorney general must have skipped the same class:
— Xavier Becerra (@AGBecerra) October 13, 2017
Cross posted at The Lid