News

Judge dismisses Republican lawsuit over Obamacare

Judge dismisses Republican lawsuit over Obamacare

HEALTH CARE:U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin had challenged the right of the federal government to continue making employer contributions to Congressional health insurance plans even when lawmakers and their staff purchase coverage through new Obamacare online exchanges. Photo: Associated Press

By Brendan O’Brien

MILWAUKEE (Reuters) – A federal judge has thrown out a U.S. Senator’s legal challenge to a part of President Barack Obama’s health care law that grants health insurance subsidies for members of Congress and their staffs.

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin had challenged the right of the federal government to continue making employer contributions to Congressional health insurance plans even when lawmakers and their staff purchase coverage through new Obamacare online exchanges.

U.S. District Judge William Griesbach, in Green Bay, dismissed the lawsuit on Monday, saying Johnson had failed to show he had been harmed by the regulation.

“There is nothing in the Constitution stipulating that all wrongs must have remedies, much less that the remedy must lie in federal court,” Griesbach, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush, said in his decision.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, has been the subject of years of political and legal attacks by Republicans, including unsuccessful bids to repeal it.

Monday’s ruling comes less than four months before elections in which Republicans seek to expand their House majority and win control of the Senate from Obama’s fellow Democrats.

After the ruling, Johnson said he still believed the Obama administration was exceeding its legal authority.

“(It) violated its own signature healthcare law by giving special treatment to members of Congress and their staffs,” he said in a statement.

“I believe that this executive action by the Obama administration is unlawful and unfair, and that it is only one of many examples of this president’s abuse of his constitutional duty.”

The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 2012 ruling, upheld the law’s “individual mandate”, a core provision requiring most Americans obtain health insurance by 2014 or pay a penalty.

The law also created new online marketplaces where Americans can shop for and buy insurance, with the goal of expanding coverage for uninsured and underinsured people.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment, Weird

New Jersey Christmas tree controlled by tweets

Fresh
treetweet

Twitter users anywhere in the world can control the lights on this holiday display.

in Entertainment

Leaked Sony emails reveal Idris Elba in line for ‘Bond’

Fresh
idriselba

A leaked Sony email named British actor Idris Elba as the frontrunner to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond.

in Music

Kelly Clarkson pulls off star-studded Christmas concert in 85 days

Fresh
clarkson

The first-ever Miracle on Broadway event raised over $400,000 for Tennessee-area charities.

in Entertainment

Sarah Jessica Parker eyes return to small screen

Fresh
sarahjessicaparker

The "Sex and the City" star could be heading back to HBO.

in Entertainment, National

Obama: Sony hack not an act of war

interview

President Barack Obama says the massive hacking was not an act of war but instead was cyber-vandalism.