The U.S. Supreme Court has already handed down several major rulings this month, and almost none of them have been favorable to Democrats.
But the nation’s highest court just issued a shocking ruling that favors former President Barack Obama and his “signature” legislation.
The Supreme Court issued an 8-1 decision on Monday that the federal government must pay out $12 billion to insurers who had enrolled in the Affordable Care Act’s “risk corridor” program.
The ruling shot down Republican efforts to dismantle parts of Obamacare, which would allow Congress to pass new legislation to help improve it.
And, of course, Obamacare is what Democrats have along called Obama’s “signature win” in office.
“The program limited both profits and losses for insurance companies that offered plans through the online exchange created by the Affordable Care Act – commonly known as ObamaCare – by having certain profits go to the Department of Health and Human Services, which in turn would give money to plans that did not bring in profits. The result was the government owing over $12 billion more than was brought in,” Fox News reported.
“The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had ruled that Congress had ‘repealed or suspended’ the obligation by implication through appropriations riders. The Supreme Court noted that according to court precedent, ‘repeals by implication are not favored,’ and because Congress never directly repealed the obligation to pay the insurance companies, they are still bound by the program,” the Fox report added.
“We conclude that §1342 of the Affordable Care Act established a money-mandating obligation, that Congress did not repeal this obligation, and that petitioners may sue the Government for damages in the Court of Federal Claims,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the court’s opinion.
Justice Samuel Alito — a conservative appointed by former President George W. Bush — was the lone dissenter in the case.
Fox News adds:
The majority held that this case falls under the Tucker Act, under which the government waives normal immunity from lawsuits based on “the Constitution, or any Act of Congress or any regulation of an executive department, or upon any express or implied contract with the United States, or for liquidated or unliquidated damages in cases not sounding in tort.”
Alito argued that ObamaCare’s provision that the government “shall pay” for insurance companies’ losses is not enough to create a cause of action under the Tucker Act. He claimed that allowing the companies to sue has significant repercussions and allows private insurers to collect money to which they should not be entitled.
“Today,” Alito wrote, “the Court infers a private right of action that has the effect of providing a massive bailout for insurance companies that took a calculated risk and lost.”
The High Court has already handed down several major immigration rulings this month.
In a 5-4 ruling, the SCOTUS recently permitted a “public charge” rule that allows the Trump administration to screen out green card applicants. The rule makes it more difficult for immigrants to receive legal status should they be expected to become dependent on government benefits.
The Supreme Court ruled last week that defendants in criminal trials can only be convicted by a unanimous jury, striking down a previous law that has been rejected by every state except one.
The SCOTUS recently ruled that the Trump administration can enforce the “remain in Mexico” policy.
Before that, the High Court ruled 5-4 in favor of tossing a lawsuit filed against a Texas border agent for shooting and killing a Mexican teenager.