A Federal Judge Just Ruled Obamacare Spending Unconstitutional

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A federal judge has ruled President Barack Obama's health care plan is in violation of the U.S. Constitution. 

U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer, appointed in 2002 by President George W. Bush, asserted the government health care overhaul, also known as "Obamacare," is unconstitutional because it subsidizes low-income purchasers' insurance with money not appropriated by Congress. 

Judge Rosemary CollyerSource: Charles Dharapak/AP
Judge Rosemary Collyer  Charles Dharapak/AP

The funding in question would total $175 billion over the course of 10 years. The majority-Republican House of Representatives initiated the legal challenge; the ruling is a big victory for the party which has bitterly opposed Obama's signature bill since its inception. 

"The secretaries ignore their own actions and focus instead on congressional inaction," Collyer said, according to Bloomberg Politics. "It strains credulity to suggest that [the Office of Management and Budget] or [the Department of Health and Human Services] submitted a multibillion-dollar budget request without analyzing the relevant statutes."

While Collyer has ruled this money may not be used, the Obama administration's appeal will delay the freeze. 

The implications of this case are yet to be determined as the appellate process has not begun. If the Obama administration is successful in their appeal, Obamacare will remain in tact. 

However, should their efforts to counter this ruling be unsuccessful — and the government struggles to obtain appropriated funds to subsidize insurance — there could be harmful ramifications for low-income Americans who struggle to afford the federally mandated health care coverage. 

Correction: May 12, 2016
A previous version of this article misstated the year President George Bush nominated Rosemary Collyer to be a U.S. district judge. She was nominated in 2002.