D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals questions settlement on Obamacare lawsuit

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals questions settlement on Obamacare lawsuit

A three-judge panel for the DC Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] issued an order [text, PDF] on Monday that stalls the proposed settlement of a lawsuit files by the House of Representatives [official website] during the Obama administration over subsidies paid to insurers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) [JURIST archive].

The settlement seeks to partially vacate a 2016 decision [WP report] by the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] which ruled that President Obama exceeded his authority by funding over $175 billion in subsidies to insurance companies without the approval of Congress. In October 2017, President Trump instructed [JURIST report] the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) [official website] to stop making cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments under the ACA. The settlement between the House, the Trump administration and several states was aimed at clearing the path to pursue other legal interests on behalf of all parties.

Noting that lower court orders are not usually partially vacated, the order requests “that the parties file a supplement … in support of their joint motion to dismiss” and “explain what ‘exceptional circumstances’ justify partial vacatur.”