Pelosi Statement on Amicus Brief in House of Representatives v. Burwell
December 8, 2015
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today on the amicus brief filed this afternoon with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia 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. The brief is led by Leader Pelosi, joined by the House Democratic Leadership and by the Ranking Members of the House Appropriations, Education and the Workforce, Energy and Commerce, Judiciary, Rules, and Ways and Means Committees.
“After more than 60 dead-end votes to unravel the ACA, House Republicans are once again trying to get the courts to do their political work for them. This time, Republicans are suing to raise the health costs for millions of hard-working Americans – a preposterous attempt to destroy the law’s mandatory reimbursement of health insurers for the cost-sharing reductions that help low- and middle-income Americans buy health insurance.
“As leaders of Congress when the ACA was passed, the signers of this brief know that this Republican lawsuit is a meritless claim – 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 the traditional legislative processes and destabilize the separation of powers among the three branches of government.
“However, if the District Court does reach the merits of this case, it should issue the only ruling consistent with the text and structure of the ACA: ruling that the ACA provided a permanent appropriation for these cost-sharing reductions. 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. Republicans are brazenly trying to ignore the clear mandate for the cost-sharing reductions in the ACA, hurl insurance markets into chaos, and destroy the affordable health coverage of millions of Americans.
“Thanks to this historic law, nearly 18 million previously uninsured Americans now have quality, affordable health coverage. Republicans should stop wasting taxpayer dollars on lawsuits to dismantle the health coverage of hard working American families.”