Pelosi Statement on Amicus Brief in House of Representatives v. Burwell

Nov 1, 2016
Press Release

Contact: Drew Hammill/Caroline Behringer, 202-226-7616

Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today on the amicus brief filed on Monday with the U.S. Court of Appeals District of Columbia Court in support of efforts to reverse the District Court Judge’s decision in the case of U.S. House of Representatives v. Burwell. The amicus brief supports the government’s position that this inter-branch dispute should be resolved through traditional legislative processes, not by the courts; and also that the executive branch has been acting within its lawful authority when it reimburses health insurers for cost-sharing reductions – as the Affordable Care Act expressly requires it to do so.

“As leaders in Congress when the Affordable Care Act was passed, the signers of this amicus brief know that this Republican lawsuit is meritless. Instead of working with Democrats to make health care more affordable, Republicans are trying an end-run around the law and the legislative process that would hurl insurance markets into chaos, and destroy the affordable health coverage of millions of Americans.

“After more than 60 failed attempts to undermine and repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans have raised a claim without merit – one that shouldn’t even be entertained by the courts in the first place. For the courts to wade into such an inter-branch political dispute would displace traditional legislative processes and destabilize the separation of powers among the three branches of government. We urge the Court of Appeals to ensure that rightful legislative processes, and not the courts, solve this inter-branch political dispute.

“However, if the U.S. Court of Appeals does reach the merits of this case, it should issue the only ruling consistent with the text and structure of the ACA. It is clear that the executive branch has been acting within its lawful authority in reimbursing health insurers for cost-sharing reductions, as the ACA expressly required it to do so. Thanks to the ACA, more than 20 million previously uninsured Americans now have quality, affordable health coverage. While House Republicans strive to dismantle the health coverage of hard-working American families, Democrats are working to build a stronger America for everyone.”

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