Two federal appeals court rulings put the issue of ObamaCare subsidies in limbo Tuesday, with one court invalidating some of them and the other upholding all of them.
The first decision came Tuesday morning from a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The panel, in a major blow to the law, ruled 2-1 that the IRS went too far in extending subsidies to those who buy insurance through the federally run exchange, known as HealthCare.gov.
A separate federal appeals court — the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals — hours later issued its own ruling on a similar case that upheld the subsidies in their entirety.
The conflicting rulings would typically fast-track the matter to the Supreme Court. However, it is likely that the administration will ask the D.C. appeals court to first convene all 11 judges to re-hear that case.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest stressed Tuesday that different courts have reached different conclusions on the subsidy issue, and said the latest ruling “does not have any practical impact” at this point on the ability of people to get tax credits.
Still, the D.C. court ruling nevertheless strikes at the foundation of the law by challenging subsidies that millions of people obtained through the federally run exchange known as HealthCare.gov.
The suit maintained that the language in ObamaCare actually restricts subsidies to state-run exchanges — of which there are only 14 — and does not authorize them to be given in the 36 states that use the federally run system.
The court agreed.
SOURCE: Barnini Chakraborty