House Republicans won a major victory Wednesday in the latest legal battle over Obamacare.
A federal judge in Washington said the GOP has legal standing to sue the administration over its implementation of a particular Obamacare program — a lawsuit that threatens billions of dollars in health care subsidies, while aiming to validate Republicans’ complaints that Obama has usurped too much power as president.
Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia did not rule Wednesday on the merits of the GOP’s arguments. But simply allowing the case to proceed is a big setback for the administration, which had urged Collyer to dismiss the lawsuit immediately.
Republicans and conservative legal scholars didn’t get everything they wanted from Collyer’s decision — she rejected a portion of the lawsuit that could have opened the door to a flood of lawsuits over political disputes between the legislative and executive branches.
But she did leave critics’ best anti-Obamacare weapon intact.
House Republicans say the administration exceeded its authority when it implemented Obamacare’s cost-sharing subsidies, even though Congress had not appropriated funding for the program. (The subsidies in question help people pay for their copays, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs; they’re separate from the premium subsidies the Supreme Court upheld in June.)