Trump correct, insurance subsidies were illegal

Here we go again with support for the illegal acts of President Obama and his administration!

Section 1402 of the Affordable Care Act authorized the payments to insurance companies. The insurances companies had to notify the federal government of the amount of their price reductions, and the government will “make periodic and timely payments to the insurer equal to the value of the reductions.” The problem develops in that nowhere in the ACA were the funds appropriated to make these payments to the insurance companies.

Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution unambiguously declares that “no Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by law.” The most relevant federal appropriations statute states quite clearly that “a law may be construed to make an appropriation out of the Treasury … only if the law specifically states that an appropriation is made.”

Since the ACA did not appropriate funds to make these payments Congress must pass an appropriation bill each year to make the payments.

President Obama knew that the funds had not been appropriated by the ACA. He then requested Congress appropriate the funds and Congress said “NO.” President Obama then did what he did best — he authorized the subsidy payments in direct violation of the Constitution.

After President Obama authorized the payments, the House of Representatives sued President Obama and his administration. On May 12, 2016, federal district court judge Rosemary Collyer ruled in favor of the House of Representatives, holding that President Obama’s payments were unlawful.

In her 38-page ruling Judge Collyer stated that the ACA authorized the appropriations for the section 1401 premium tax credits. There was no appropriations for the 1402 reimbursements payments to the insurance companies in the ACA.

President Trump was right in stopping the illegal and the unconstitutional payments of subsidies to insurance companies.

It is up to Congress. If Congress wishes to make subsidy payments to the insurance companies then Congress must appropriate the funds to do so. As of this date Congress has not agreed to pay these subsidies. Until Congress appropriates the funds, President Trump has only one option — obey the law and the Constitution, stop payments.

Ray Shamlin

Rocky Mount