GOP/HEALTHCARE/LEGAL/OBAMACARE(ACA)/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Health insurers and the Trump administration face a court decision shortly that will determine whether the government must pay insurers billions of dollars despite Republican efforts to block payments they view as an industry bailout.
Insurers have filed roughly two-dozen lawsuits claiming the federal government reneged on promises it made to pay them under the Affordable Care Act. A decision could come at any time on pivotal litigation before a three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The panel’s decision on cases brought by two insurers—Moda Health Plan Inc. and Land of Lincoln Mutual Health Insurance Co.—will resolve splits between lower court judges. It could also shape the outcome of other insurer lawsuits that would leave the government potentially owing as much as roughly $20 billion in past and future payments. Those cases, legal experts say, amount to the largest civil lawsuits ever.
More than money is at stake, however. If the federal government loses the lawsuits, the Trump administration could find itself forced to financially support a health law it has been seeking vigorously to undo.Most of the lawsuits come down to a simple argument: Insurers say they were promised funding by the Obama administration under the ACA, but Republicans opposed to the law blocked the payments. That money, they say, is still owed to them because they suffered financial losses.
The administration essentially says insurers aren’t entitled to funding because it was never appropriated by Congress.”
–Stephanie Armour, “Billions of Dollars on the Line as Insurers Await Obamacare Ruling,” The Wall Street Journal online, Mar.15, 2018, 8:00am