800px-Capitol_Building_Full_ViewThis afternoon, Judge Rosemary Collyer issued her ruling on the motion by the Administration to forego a ruling on the merits in the United States House of Representatives v. Burwell, a challenge brought by the House to unilateral action taken by the Administration under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). After losing its motion to dismiss the case on standing grounds, the Administration sought (over the objections of the House) to remove the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia without ruling on the merits of the case. Judge Collyer denied the motion and set the case for final briefing and ultimately a final ruling.

The ruling today means that the United States House of Representatives now will be heard on an issue that drives to the very heart of our constitutional system: the control of the legislative branch over the “power of the purse.” The Administration has long argued that it has the authority to order the payment of what will amount to $175 billion over the next ten years to insurance companies without an appropriation of funds by Congress, notwithstanding Article I, section 9, clause 7 of the Constitution which provides that “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.” We are eager to present the House’s merits arguments to the Court and remain confident that our position will ultimately prevail in establishing the unconstitutional conduct alleged in this lawsuit. Regardless of the outcome, the public deserves an answer to this fundamental constitutional question.

Judge Collyer’s decision is linked below.

I would again like to thank our extraordinary team in this litigation. Specifically, I would like to thank General Counsel Kerry Kircher; Deputy General Counsel William Pittard; Senior Assistant General Counsel Todd Tatelman; and Assistant Counsels Eleni Roumel, Isaac Rosenberg, and Kimberly Hamm. It is an honor to be part of this team and this case.

Jonathan Turley

Lead Counsel, United States House of Representatives v. Burwell



  1. The Medicare payroll tax in 1966 (when Medicare became effective) was .7%.
    One half (.35) percent was paid by the employer, and one half by the employee.
    With a $6,600 cap on tacable income, the total maximum payroll tax came to $46.20…counting BOTH employee and employer contributions.
    The Medicare tax is currently 2.9%, and their is no cap on taxable amount.
    From the employee’s perspective, a 1.45% tax on $30,000 means c. $435 in Medicare payroll tax (($870 total with employer taxes).
    An employee making $300,000 would pay $4350 in annual Medicare taxes ($8700 total with employer taxes) for the same “insurance”.
    With means testing a likely “fix” to the Medicare funding crisis, the person paying 10 times as much for the same “insurance” may be ineligible to receive Medicare benefits at age 65.
    And/or will certainly pay more in Part B premiums.
    So Medicare taxes have exploded over the years, and the “insurance premiums” are disportionately high for higher income people.
    They are forced to pay much higher premiums for the same insurance- which they may or may not get.
    These are unusual characteristics for pricing of “insurance”. In fairness, Medicare should no longer be called insurance…..it is essentially health care cost shifting.
    There are still those who argue that the wealthy should pay even more than they currently are into the Medicare system, but I’m not sure what they consider to be a “fair” amount.

  2. Maybe you could post the old
    “Leave Britney Alone!!!” guy. Seems about right.
    Truth be told, I don’t care whether Karen made up part or all of her “personal” tale. It just rings of all the stories told by Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin that fall apart under the slightest scrutiny.
    It’s the more substantive issue of how we run our government or run it into the ground. How we fund or underfund programs. And whether we want to let the so-called free market ruin a few million lives in another health care insurance debacle.
    I really recommend a healthcare economics 101 class at least a good article on the subject unless you already know it all.

  3. No one’s credibility is above reproach, we all have ideologies and preconceived ideas. It’s a part of being human, FYI.

  4. Karen S asks/says: “Do you know how ridiculous you would look on a stage in a debate? I have facts to back up my claims, and you giggle and shift around and tell me you could slay me with your rapier wit if you only had the time.”

    It’s the comments section of a blog, for Pete’s sake. Let’s not try to make it into something that it’s not.

  5. Karen, Your credibility is above reproach. What we just read is classic projection.

  6. Well Karen, just repeating your insults does not make them more effective. The whole giggling and shifting from foot to foot thing is supposed to make me sound like a little girl. Got it. Anything else?

    You might consider upping your game because it’s weak. Try adding some phrases that will dog-whistle a little more:

    Mom Jeans
    Big-boy pants

    And so on.

    It’s great that you have learned how to copy and paste large quantities of material from other websites. It save you having to come up with any actual ideas, and it leaves anyone who wants to discuss anything in the position of having to read all your BS, sort through it piece by piece and try to respond while all you really have to do is Control-C…Control-V. I’m guessing that you even have these sources bookmarked so you don’t have to bother looking anything up. Or maybe you’re just picking up from Brietbart, and RedState. Who knows? Or cares?

    Your personal stories are incredible. Incredible as in not-credible. You’ve either had the worst personal insurance string of luck in the world or you are making it up, and I would bet it’s the latter.

    As for the rest of it, I’m not going to argue whether or not Medicare is going broke or not. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that more than half the people in our government right now have dedicated themselves to seeing that the President fails, that the government fails, and especially that pesky socialist programs like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security fail. Republicans clearly hate America and are so much more concerned about their own enrichment that they quite literally do not care about other human beings or what happens as a consequence of their actions. Furthermore there were hundreds of loyal government-hating federal employees in the Bush administration who “burrowed in” jobs from which they could not be removed in order to continue trying to sabotage the country. They are still at it to this day.

    Medicare, if it is in trouble, is so because of all the people dedicated to making it fail. Underfund the investigative branch. Strip away any power to negotiate drug prices. Raise hell about the payment processes. Twist the smallest things around and make political issues out of them–like paying doctors for the time it takes to discuss end-of-life decisions with patients and their families…OH MY GOD!!! DEATH PANELS!!!

    As I mentioned there are multiple reasons our health care costs so much and works so little. So of them land on the American people. For instance, our obesity rates top 35% while the rest of the developed world is at about 11%. That is enormously expensive. Americans make up about 5% of the worlds population and yet consume more than 50% of its prescription drugs; more than 80% of it’s pain medications. 80% !! And we aren’t allowed to negotiate those prices like other countries do.

    The cost of medical errors is also a huge contributor–upwards of 200,000 deaths per year and hundreds of thousands more injuries, hospitalizations, and re-hospitalizations. And before you scream about tort reform, know that fewer than 20% of the people actually injured by doctors ever sue, and only a fraction of them ever win.

    Then we can get to unnecessary medical procedures and surgeries, repeated lab tests, x-rays, scans and MRI’s that are just tacked on everyone’s bill. We are crazy for more and sick as hell.

    And that’s just a piece of it.

    The cynical side of me would love to see a private insurance market with no restrictions on sales across state lines, because it would be such a dramatic failure. But I know that ultimately the less-educated Americans, and I’m talking about republicans and democrats both, would suffer, and their children would suffer and costs would skyrocket and millions of people would go broke and die. But it might, just might, get a whole bunch of conservatives to stop and think…nah, it wouldn’t.

  7. The American Thesis is Freedom and Self-Reliance.

    Open a business.

    Get a job.

    Buy your own insurance.


    Get acquainted with your station in life.

    Change what you can.

    Accept what you can’t.

    Learn the difference.


    Charity is a vibrant, dynamic, honorable private sector pursuit.

    For all you naïve and gullible bleeding-heart-liberals, United Way and gofundme.com are

    great places to start.

  8. Nick – that is an excellent idea. Except they would have to force everyone to do the single payor system because it would immediately run out of its own money.

  9. phillyT:

    “Sorry Karen. I just don’t have the time or inclination to refute every claim you make.”

    That’s because you CAN’T. You cannot refute a single claim of mine, because I listed the government’s own website as my source. The best you can do is talk about your feelings about the issue, or giggle at me.

    Do you know how ridiculous you would look on a stage in a debate? I have facts to back up my claims, and you giggle and shift around and tell me you could slay me with your rapier wit if you only had the time.

    You’ve been caught, and you know it.

    How are you going to argue with healthcare.gov when it proves my point?

    You True Believes have caused such real and lasting damage – financially and to our health. You’ve been told about the damage you have caused, so if you persist, you do so knowingly. That’s on you. You can’t pretend you didn’t know anymore.

  10. What ASTOUNDS me is that people do not seem to understand, if you don’t like private insurance, you DO NOT have to use it under a two tiered plan. You can have a single payer, govt. controlled, VA plan. This shows the utter fascism of liberals. They need to control. They can’t allow people a choice. I’ll give you a version of your cult leader’s quote, “If you like your single payer, you can have your single payer.” Just leave us smart people alone!

  11. The person mixing in quotes, plagiarizing, and sockpuppeting is insuranceguy, err, Ellen, err…?

  12. Sorry Karen. I just don’t have the time or inclination to refute every claim you make. I disagree with you entirely, and I think you have mixed in a few facts and actual quotes with a LOT of misinformation and plain old BS. If I didn’t have a job or a life I might have time to take this on.

    There are a lot of reasons healthcare is so much more expensive in the US while being at the same time so much less effective. Maybe I’ll have time after work to get that list together. Meanwhile I advocate for Medicare for all, fully funded including enough investigators to go after the crooks, and enough negotiators to take on the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

  13. Our findings suggest that while proponents of across state lines proposals cite important goals—such as enhancing consumer choice, increasing competition and making insurance more affordable—the across state lines proposals currently enacted in six states have been unsuccessful in meeting these goals. Our findings further suggest that such proposals do not address the true drivers of health insurance costs nor do they adequately take into account the complex- ity of how insurance products are sold and regulated. The proposals also underestimate the administrative hurdles necessary for full implementation. As a result, none of the across state lines laws resulted in a single insurer entering the market or the sale of a single new insurance product.

    Such findings suggest a cautionary tale for overestimating the ability of across state lines proposals to improve access to affordable health insurance coverage. Although the ACA establishes a significantly more robust federal minimum standard of insurance regulation that could temper the deregulatory impact of across state lines proposals, our findings suggest that such proposals
    include many unforeseen administrative complexities and that state officials do not necessarily want to cede their regulatory authority to other states. Although our findings are limited to the context of state-based across state lines legislation, the concerns raised are likely the same if across state lines legislation is enacted at the federal level. Indeed, federal across state lines legislation has the potential to preempt many more state consumer protections, lead to a regulatory “race to the bottom” and reduce access to coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. It poses these risks while failing to address true market barriers identified by respondents—such as the cost of building a network of local providers and the cost of delivering care in different states and regions.

    While it is certainly the case that many consumers and small businesses lack meaningful choices among insurers and struggle to find affordable coverage, our findings suggest that across state lines legislation does not appear to be the “silver bullet” that proponents are searching for.


  14. Oh, and a good indicator of our struggling economy and unsupportable level of illegal immigration is the fact that fully 1/3 of Californians are on Medi-cal, the state’s version of Medicaid.

    That is why the talk of the economic recovery Obama talks about is viewed with disbelief here in CA.

  15. Another one from the Liberal LA Times:


    Obamacare funds “merger mania” among health insurance companies, reducing choice and competition.

    “some regulators and consumer advocates expressed alarm about this increasing consolidation. They worry that this will create powerful new healthcare giants that will limit the negotiating power of government health programs and employers to hold down prices.

    They fear that the nation’s $3-trillion healthcare tab will keep growing uncontrollably, putting a squeeze on government budgets and the pocketbooks of everyday Americans.

    “We cannot afford what we are paying now,” said Glenn Melnick, a healthcare economist and professor at USC. “Healthcare could eat up the federal budget.”

    Workers’ share of employer health premiums soared 93% in the last decade at a time of relatively little wage growth, according to the Commonwealth Fund, a New York think tank.”

  16. One driver for the high cost of health care is, paradoxically, insurance itself.

    If none of us had health insurance, it wouldn’t cost $10,000 a day for a hospital room, no $700/pill medication because none of us could pay that. Of course, insurance also pumps a lot of money into R&D for pharmaceutical companies, medical devices, and transplant. So it’s a double edged sword. On the one hand all that money drives innovation, but on the other, it also inflates prices.

    As for the barriers across state lines, I do not understand why it is difficult to build networks across state lines. CA is such a massive state, many states are about 1/3 the size of CA. It’s northern and southern border is almost 1,000 miles apart. Insurance companies are located hundreds of miles away from their localized networks, and yet they manage to put them together. In many cases, a company located in a bordering state would actually be closer to a network in southern CA than a CA based company located in northern CA.

    I do think that there are difficulties in meeting every state’s regulations and in bringing down the cost of health care in general.

    The ACA has driven out most insurers from the state of CA. We are down to literally a handful of insurance companies that participate in the Exchange now. Bringing in more competition is a good thing. As it stands, these near monopolies can sneer at customer service. What are people going to do? Go to the other 2 insurance company monoliths that are just as bad? We need to create a climate where more health insurance companies operate here, not less, whether that’s operating across state lines or encouraging more growth within states.

    One of the ways to make insurance more affordable is to offer more choice. As it is, all insurance plans are essentially the same. They have 26 “free” forms of birth control, and other “freebies” that drive up their cost. What if people were allowed to choose health plans with 15 forms of birth control, with the same copay they have for other medications, and they were able to save money? What if consumers got to pick and choose what they wanted in their policies so they could shop around for what they could afford? You know, like in the good old days of a few years ago before the ACA took the excesses of insurance problems and expanded them tenfold?

  17. More on why private insurance across state lines failures:

    Across state lines legislation was largely
    unsuccessful because of the localized nature of how
    health care is delivered.
    Respondents universally
    reported the enormous difficulty that out-of-state
    insurers face in building a network of local providers,
    and insurers identified doing so as a significant barrier
    to market entry that far surpasses concerns about a
    state’s regulatory environment or benefit mandates.
    State officials and insurers also noted that across
    state lines legislation ignores the primary cause of
    high prices—the cost of delivering care—and fails to
    account for often dramatic differences in the cost of
    care between states and regions.

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