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GOP Obamacare lawsuit given new life

WASHINGTON -- A federal judge has denied an Obama administration request for a quick appeal in a legal challenge House Republicans have brought against the president's health care law.

U.S. District Court Judge Rosemary M. Collyer ruled last month that the House can pursue its claim that the administration violated the Constitution when it spent public money that was not appropriated by Congress. At issue is the more than $175 billion the government is paying health insurance companies over a decade to reimburse them for offering reduced health care co-payments for lower-income people.

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The House argues that Congress never specifically approved spending that money, and in fact denied the administration's request for it. The Obama administration insists it is instead relying on previously allocated money that it is allowed to use.

On Monday, the judge denied an administration request to swiftly appeal her ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The administration says it's using previously approved money. It says the courts should not get involved in a political dispute between the legislative and executive branches.

The lawsuit was filed last year against the departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury by Republicans frustrated by their inability to torpedo the President's signature heath care law through legislative action.

The House has voted more than 50 times to repeal all or parts of the law known as Obamacare, only to be stymied in the Senate.