Appeals court agrees to delay GOP lawsuit over health law

AP News
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Posted: Dec 05, 2016 2:27 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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.