The Republican-led House of Representatives “filed a long-awaited lawsuit Friday, alleging that the Obama administration ignored key aspects of its health care reform law when implementing the sweeping new government program.” Politico,
President Barack Obama is not named as a defendant; the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, names as defendants Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and their departments.
The White House dismissed the lawsuit Friday as meritless and as a waste of money.
The new lawsuit claims that two specific aspects of implementation of the Obamacare law violated the terms of the legislation.
First, the suit complains about repeated delays of the employer mandate, which was supposed to kick in in January of this year. The administration delayed the requirement until next year for some employers and until 2016 for others.
Second, the litigation challenges payments to insurance companies under a cost-sharing provision that the suit argues was never authorized by law. Such “offset” payments amounted to $3 billion in 2014 and could total $175 billion over 10 years, the House claims.
Yesterday, North Carolina’s state auditor “terminated a contract with Jonathan Gruber, the MIT economics professor and health-care expert whose comments on the Affordable Care Act have generated fury among conservatives.” The Washington Post,
Auditor Beth Wood (D) had hired Gruber to analyze the state’s Community Care of North Carolina program, which provides managed care to the poor and disabled. Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and state lawmakers involved in reforming the state’s Medicaid system were studying whether to include the Community Care program in the reformed system.
Wood’s office, in consultation with the Republican-led legislature, hired Gruber last November. He spent the year finding and analyzing data from the state Department of Health and Human Services…
Earlier this week, Wood’s office decided they had to fire Gruber because it couldn’t “eliminate [the] appearance of an independence impairment,” according to a timeline released by the Auditor’s office. Wood met with Republican leaders of the General Assembly on Tuesday to inform them of the decision, then called Gruber on Wednesday.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi wants to know if the public knows that the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order. Via the National Journal,
Today, the Obama administration admitted it has been “over-reporting the number of people signed up under the health care law, a discrepancy that congressional Republicans seeking to repeal the program say they uncovered.” AP,
It’s another credibility problem for the administration after video surfaced recently of former White House adviser Jonathan Gruber suggesting that deception was used to pass President Barack Obama’s signature law.
Administration spokesman Aaron Albright said that the overcount involved about 400,000 people.
Those consumers have separate dental coverage in addition to a medical plan, and were double-counted by mistake, said Albright. They had purchased both the medical and dental plans through HealthCare.gov and state insurance markets created under the law.
That means the correct number of people enrolled for medical coverage as of Oct. 15 is about 6.7 million, not the 7.1 million that Burwell has been citing.
The discrepancy was uncovered by Republican investigators for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, poring over sign-up spreadsheets.