D.C. Appeals Court strikes down Obamacare subsidies

Obamacare struck another blow by D.C. Appeals Court

D.C. Circuit Court |CREDIT: Wiki Commons
D.C. Circuit Court |CREDIT: Wiki Commons

Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit dealt another major blow to Obamacare, by ruling that millions of Americans can’t get subsidies to help pay for their health insurance through Healthcare.gov. In a 2-1 ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said that the IRS had incorrectly allowed people to get subsidized through the federal exchange. It did not order the subsidies stopped immediately, recognizing that the Obama administration will appeal.

This decision is the second recent setback for Obamacare following the Hobby Lobby ruling on birth control coverage. The subsidies is a major part of the Affordable Care Act. The plaintiffs argued that the Affordable Care Act allows the subsidies to be awarded only through insurance marketplaces run by states, while the administration argued that they can flow through any exchange regardless of who runs it.

The ruling is expected to be appealed, but could threaten the fabric of the newly devised health care system. Nearly 90 percent of the federal exchange’s insurance enrollees were eligible for subsidies because of low or moderate incomes, and the outcome of the case could potentially leave millions without affordable health insurance.

The appeals process will likely lead to the U.S. Supreme Court deciding on the legality of the subsidies. However some legal experts don’t believe that will happen. Halbig v.Burwell, which had been previously called Halbig v. Sebelius, is one of four federal lawsuits that have been filed aimed at targeting the idea of tax credits and other subsidies afforded under ObamaCare.


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