Delay in court case deepens health insurance uncertainty

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Trump administration and House Republicans are asking a federal appeals court for a 90-day extension in a case that’s casting a shadow of uncertainty over health insurance for millions of consumers.

The case involves federal payments that insurers use to lower deductibles and copayments for people with modest incomes purchasing individual policies under the Affordable Care Act. About $7 billion is at stake.

The suit was originally filed by House Republicans. A lower court ruled that the government lacks constitutional authority to make the payments because Congress failed to specifically approve them.

Both the Obama and Trump administrations have kept paying while the case is pending. But President Donald Trump at times has suggested he’d stop.

Critics say dragging out the case could drive premiums higher next year.

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