On July 4th, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. against President Obama, challenging his unlawful executive orders regarding the enforcement of Obamacare.
Government lawyers from the Department of Justice promptly filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, claiming that AFLC did not have standing to challenge Obama’s executive action.
By way of background, Article III of the U.S. Constitution limits federal court jurisdiction to “cases or controversies.” To give meaning to Article III’s requirement, the courts have developed various “justiciability” doctrines, including “standing.”
Standing essentially asks whether a litigant is the proper party to bring the lawsuit. To establish standing, a party has to show that it has suffered an injury that is fairly traceable to the challenged action and likely to be redressed by an order from the court.
The government argued that AFLC did not have standing because it could not show that its injury — in this case, an economic injury caused by increased health insurance premiums — was fairly traceable to Obama’s executive orders.
As AFLC set forth in the lawsuit, through executive fiat, Obama unilaterally changed federal law by declaring that health insurance policies that were not in compliance with the clear and unambiguous language of Obamacare were now in compliance, thereby effectively repealing the law for millions of Americans, but not for others, including AFLC.
Obama was compelled to engage in this unlawful executive action because his lie to the American people in 2013 that “if you like your healthcare plan you can keep it” created a political firestorm.
Congress intended Obamacare to significantly increase health insurance coverage and the size of purchasing pools in order to increase economies of scale and thus lower health insurance premiums. By permitting non-compliant plans, Obama changed the insurance risk pools and thus completely undermined the statutory scheme established by Congress, resulting in increased premiums for those who had to maintain a compliant plan, such as AFLC.
The government argued that AFLC could not produce any direct evidence that Obama’s executive orders were affecting premiums. To support its argument, the government rejected Congress’ explicit findings as well as basic economic principles and instead directed the court to the rate increase submitted by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) (AFLC’s insurer) in 2013 — a public filing that did not mention the executive orders.
However, after scouring BCBSM’s public filings this past week, we found the “smoking gun”—an actuarial memorandum prepared by BCBSM in June 2014 that expressly stated that the insurance company had to increase rates due to Obama’s executive action. Bingo!
We promptly filed this evidence with the court as part of a request to submit a supplemental brief demonstrating that AFLC had standing. However, shortly after we filed our motion, the government asked the court to reject the brief and the evidence. In other words, the government is attempting to block the court from considering dispositive evidence on a threshold issue in the case!
This is not justice. Unfortunately, would you expect anything less from this lawless administration? Pray that the court does the right thing and rejects the government’s efforts to obstruct justice.