Appeals court agrees to delay GOP lawsuit over health law
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has agreed to delay consideration of a lawsuit from Republican lawmakers over the Obama health care law. President-elect Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress plan to repeal and replace the law.
The three-judge panel in Washington on Monday gave both sides in the case until Feb. 21 to clarify their positions. House Republicans say a change in policy under the new administration could render the case moot.
Earlier this year, a U.S. district judge sided with the Republican-led House of Representatives, saying the administration is spending illegally on the health law because Congress never specifically provided the money.
At issue is the $175 billion the government is paying over a decade to reimburse health insurers to reduce deductibles and co-payments for lower-income people.
The Obama administration appealed both the substance of the ruling and whether a chamber of Congress even has authority to mount a legal challenge. But lawyers for the House said the case should be put on hold based on a likelihood the administration’s position will change under Trump.
Obama administration officials had opposed the delay.