By Jon Dougherty
The U.S. Supreme Court issued a stellar ruling this week that was little-covered in the garbage “mainstream” media because POTUS Donald Trump was on foreign soil to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings and they wouldn’t give up a chance to bash him while he was there.
Not only was the ruling overwhelming, it put another nail in the coffin of the worst healthcare ‘reform’ legislation since the Great Society foisted Medicare and Medicaid upon the masses.
In a 7-1 ruling — yes, 7-1 — SCOTUS ruled that an Obamacare reimbursement regulation unconstitutional because, The Hill reported, Health and Human Services officials did not follow proper notice and comment rules before implementing it.
The only dissenter was Justice Stephen Breyer; Justice Brett Kavanaugh abstained from ruling because he heard the case when he was still on the D.C. Circuit.
The policy, implemented in 2014, called for reduced payments to hospitals for treating low-income patients. In other words, hospitals already struggling under reduced payments for any government-reimbursed care (Medicare included) were being paid even less, meaning some likely closed because of the reduced payment schedule and others were on the brink.
“In 2014, the government revealed a new policy on its website that dramatically — and retroactively — reduced payments to hospitals serving low-income patients,” Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote in his decision.
“Because affected members of the public received no advance warning and no chance to comment first, and because the government has not identified a lawful excuse for neglecting its statutory notice-and-comment obligations, we agree with the court of appeals that the new policy cannot stand,” he added.
As reported by The Epoch Times, Allina Health Services — a Midwestern-based operator of non-profit hospitals — brought the suit.
“The company claimed it had been shortchanged by as much as $4 billion as a result of the improperly executed policy change,” The Times reported.
“Allina had asked the Provider Reimbursement Review Board for relief, but the entity said it lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. Allina took the matter to a U.S. district court, eventually losing at the appellate level.”
Gorsuch wrote that because Medicare is the second-largest federal entitlement program after Social Security, it “touches the lives of nearly all Americans.”
As such, if the government wants “to establish or change a ‘substantive legal standard’ affecting Medicare benefits, it must first afford the public notice and a chance to comment.”
That seems pretty straightforward, but in the Obama regime’s rush to foist the abomination known as Obamacare on the country, his HHS obviously cut constitutional corners.
Oddly, the Trump administration defended the policy, arguing, according to The Epoch Times, “that the formal rulemaking process wasn’t required by the statute.”
But, reported Courthouse News Service, “substantive rules require notice and comment, while interpretive rules do not;” HHS seemed to argue that it was in the latter category, and Breyer thought so as well.
Had the rule been left in place, more hospitals could have closed, opponents argued.
In his ruling, Gorsuch noted that, “as the government knows well, courts aren’t free to rewrite clear statutes under the banner of our own policy concerns.
“If the government doesn’t like Congress’ notice-and-comment policy choices, it must take its complaints there.”
That’s something Obama detested — dealing with the GOP-led Congress.
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