A federal judge recently ruled that the Obama administration violated the Constitution by spending $7 billion on subsidies for insurance companies without Congress’s permission. Worse still, the administration knew all along that it was flouting the law.
If the ruling is upheld, Americans will face higher premiums and fewer choices in the health insurance market. If it comes to that, they’ll have President Obama to thank.
At issue are the Affordable Care Act’s “cost-sharing reduction” subsidies. Obamacare’s “essential benefits” mandates require all exchange policies to cover a long list of services, from maternity care to substance abuse treatment to speech pathology counseling. In a normal market, insurers would charge patients higher premiums, deductibles, and copayments to cover the costs of these extensive benefits.
. . .