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United States House of Representatives v. Burwell

United States District Court for the District of Columbia
130 F. Supp. 3d 53 (2015)


Congress passed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including a section requiring employers to reduce the cost of health insurance to eligible subscribers. Under the ACA, the federal government would reimburse the insurers with money from the Treasury. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) (defendant) spent billions of dollars reimbursing insurers under the ACA. The United States House of Representatives (the House) (plaintiff) sued HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew (defendants). The House relied on Article I, Section 9, of the Constitution, which stated that no money could be drawn from the Treasury unless first appropriated by Congress. The House stated that the reimbursement provision authorized legislation even though Congress had not yet appropriated federal money for the reimbursements. The defendants moved to dismiss the case for lack of standing. The defendants contended that HHS was merely implementing the ACA, which the executive branch had authority to do.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Collyer, J.)

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