A judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the legality of Members of Congress and members of their staff obtaining health insurance coverage through the DC Health Link Small Group Marketplace, Attorney General Karl A. Racine and DC Health Benefit Exchange Executive Director Mila Kofman announced today.
D.C. Superior Court Judge Herbert B. Dixon, Jr. ruled yesterday on a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch on behalf of District resident Kirby Vining. In his ruling, the judge concluded that “the defendant exchange authority’s action in allowing members of Congress and their staff to participate in the District’s small business health options program is authorized by federal regulations.”
He added that even if federal rules and regulations conflict with the D.C. law that created the District’s Health Benefit Exchange Authority, the court would conclude that the federal regulations preempt Judicial Watch’s interpretation of D.C. law.
The ruling was a “dismissal with prejudice,” which means that, absent reversal on appeal, Vining is barred from bringing suit again in the Superior Court.
Attorney General Racine said he was pleased with the decision. “With this decision, Members of Congress and their staff will be able to continue to purchase affordable health insurance through the District’s Health Benefit Exchange Authority,” he said. “The Court issued a correct ruling under the law, and it is an appropriate decision that promotes the health and welfare of our community.”
Executive Director Kofman also welcomed the decision. “All our customers are important to us. We are pleased that we can continue to have Congress as one of our customers,” she said.