With the Supreme Court poised to overturn some -- if not all -- of President Obama's landmark health care overhaul legislation, the administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been quickly doling out federal cash allocated to the program:
Conservatives wanted the White House to stop spending on the health care law until the Supreme Court rules on whether it’s constitutional.
But the administration has forged ahead, spending at least $2.7 billion since oral arguments in the case ended on March 28. That’s more than double the amount that was handed out in the three-month period leading up to the arguments, according to a POLITICO review of funding announcements from the Department of Health and Human Services.
According to Politico's report, much of this funding was in the pipeline before March, but the stakes certainly have increased with the Supreme Court expected to hand down its ruling on Thursday. While remaining funds will dry up if the court strikes down the law, the money spent in the meantime most likely won't have to be repaid.
The $2.7 billion includes grants and awards that have been handed out since the Supreme Court arguments — including more than $90 million in funds for health insurance cooperatives that HHS announced Friday.By contrast, the administration gave out about $1 billion in grants, loans and other awards during the three months before the Supreme Court arguments.
Predictably, the Obama administration is denying that the increased rate of spending has anything to do with the pending case
An HHS spokesperson strongly disputed the idea that there was any change in the timeline because of the court.
“This story is flat-out wrong. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act more than two years ago, we have worked continuously to implement the law and to educate the American people about the benefits,” the spokesperson said. “The premise of the story does not take into account the timeline of implementation.”