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Megan McArdle

Oops! Obamacare Runs Afoul of the Constitution

The administration has been spending money that Congress didn't allocate. That's a dangerous precedent.
What will Sylvia Burwell do next?

What will Sylvia Burwell do next?

Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

District Court Judge Rosemary Collyer has ruled for Congress in House v. Burwell, a case challenging the authority of the executive branch to pay Obamacare subsidies for which no money has been appropriated.

These are not the highest-profile subsidies; they’re something called the cost-sharing reduction, which lowers the deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for families buying silver plans who make less than 250 percent of the poverty line. The federal government has paid the insurers a lot of money that wasn’t appropriated, and the House has sued to stop that.