The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit August 1 issued an order allowing states and the District of Columbia to intervene in the lawsuit brought by the House of Representatives to challenge the authority of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue cost sharing reductions (CSRs).
The Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152) intended for those reductions to provide funding to insurers to lower premiums on the exchanges for poor individuals. During the Obama Administration, the House of Representatives challenged HHS’s payment of the CSRs, claiming that Congress would have to appropriate the funds. The case currently is in abeyance, and the Trump Administration has not yet announced what it will do regarding the suit. However, with this order, if the litigation proceeds, the states and the District will be able to intervene in part because the Court concluded that “the States have raised sufficient doubt concerning the adequacy of the Department’s representation of their interests.”