President Obama did not have the authority to pay cost-sharing reductions to low-income enrollees in health insurance plans purchased on an exchange, a federal district court judge ruled today, siding with the House Republicans who filed the lawsuit. The court will allow the subsidy program to continue pending appeal. House Republicans asserted that Congress had not authorized a specific line-item appropriation for the payments. Cost-sharing reductions are available to individuals and families with incomes between 100% and 250% of the federal poverty level who enroll in silver plans. The ruling, if it stands on appeal, could increase premiums for silver plans by more than $1,000 on average, according to a report by the Urban Institute. “The AHA is disappointed with the court’s decision denying cost sharing assistance to low-income individuals who buy their health insurance on the federal health exchanges,” said Melinda Hatton, AHA senior vice president and general counsel. “Today’s decision could be a set-back for those who need affordable health care insurance, because we are concerned that it could lead to increased premiums. We will file an amicus brief as part of the appeals process.”