The end of Obamacare? Subsidies on Federal Exchanges invalidated

Court Deals Blow to Health-Law Subsidies on Federal Exchanges - Ruling Is Major Setback to Implementation of Affordable Care Act


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, on a 2-1 vote, invalidated an Internal Revenue Service regulation that implemented a key piece of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The regulation said subsidies for health insurance were available to qualifying middle- and low-income consumers whether they bought coverage on a state exchange or one run by the federal government. The ruling potentially could cripple the law by making subsidies unavailable in as many as 36 states where the federal government has run some or all of the insurance exchanges. The court sided with challengers, four individuals and three employers, who argued the health law allowed subsidies only for insurance purchases made through state exchanges. The issue became an important one after the law was enacted because more than two-thirds of the states chose not to set up their own exchanges, relying on federally-run exchanges instead. The appeals court's opinion, by Judge Thomas Griffith, a George W. Bush appointee, acknowledged that the decision has "major consequences," but the court said the IRS rule wasn't a permissible interpretation of the health law. Both judges in the majority were appointed by Republican presidents.
Comment: Image source (and these movies used to really scare me!). Perhaps had anyone read the law before they passed it ...!!!


  1. Another opinion .. likely to wend way up to SCOTUS: U.S. Courts Split on Obamacare Aid for U.S. Exchanges

    A panel of three judges in Richmond, Virginia appointed by Democratic presidents reached the opposite conclusion hours later, ruling that while the language of the law is ambiguous, the IRS had the discretion to write rules for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

  2. Conflicting court rulings throw healthcare law subsidies into question

    ... as written, the law states that subsidies should be paid to those who purchase insurance through an "exchange established by the state." That would seem to leave out the 36 states in which the exchanges are operated by the federal government.

    Obama’s Law Professor: ‘I Wouldn’t Bet’ on Obamacare Surviving Next Legal Challenge

    President Obama’s old Harvard Law professor, Laurence Tribe, said that he “wouldn’t bet the family farm” on Obamacare’s surviving the legal challenges to an IRS rule about who is eligible for subsidies that are currently working their way through the federal courts.

    “I don’t have a crystal ball,” Tribe told the Fiscal Times. “But I wouldn’t bet the family farm on this coming out in a way that preserves Obamacare.”


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