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DC Appeals Court: Most Obama-Care Subsidies Illegal

From CNBC:

Fed appeals court panel says most Obamacare subsidies illegal

By Dan Mangan | July 22, 2014

In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a top federal appeals court Tuesday said that billions of dollars worth of government subsidies that helped nearly 5 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are illegal.

A judicial panel in a 2-1 ruling said such subsidies can be granted only to those people who bought insurance in an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia — not on the federally run exchange HealthCare.gov…

The Obama Administration is certain to seek a reversal of the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which does not immediately have the effect of law.

So don’t worry. Another more reliable judicial panel will be found who will overrule this panel. Still, if by some miracle it does get upheld, it really would strike a major blow to Obama-Care. — And we can dream, can’t we?

The ruling endorsed a controversial interpretation of the Affordable Care Act that argues that the HealthCare.gov subsidies are illegal because ACA does not explicitly empower a federal exchange to offer subsidized coverage, as it does in the case of state-created exchanges. Subsidies for more than 2 million people who bought coverage on state exchanges would not be affected by Tuesday’s ruling if it is upheld.

‘Live by the arcane wording of the law, die by the arcane wording of the law.’

HealthCare.gov serves residents of the 36 states that did not create their own health insurance marketplace. About 4.7 million people, or 86 percent of all HealthCare.gov enrollees, qualified for a subsidy to offset the cost of their coverage this year because they had low or moderate incomes…

"Low and moderate incomes" being anyone who makes less than $95,400 a year. (For a family of four.)

If upheld, the ruling could lead many, if not most of those subsidized customers to abandon their health plans sold on HealthCare.gov because they no longer would find them affordable without the often-lucrative tax credits. And if that coverage then is not affordable for them as defined by the Obamacare law, those people will no longer be bound by the law’s mandate to have health insurance by this year or pay a fine next year…

The ruling also threatens, in the same 36 states, to gut the Obamacare rule starting next year that all employers with 50 or more full-time workers offer affordable insurance to them or face fines. That’s because the rule only kicks in if one of such an employers’ workers buy subsidized covered on HealthCare.gov…

Wow. So this ruling a two-fer. It wipes out both the individual and the employer mandates.

Supporters argue that the legality of the subsidies to HealthCare.gov enrollee derives from the fact that the law explicitly anticipated the potential need to create an exchange in the event that a state chose not to.

When the ACA was passed into law, most supporters believed that the vast majority of states would create their own exchange. But the opposition to Obamacare of many Republican governors and state legislators lead to most states refusing to build their own marketplaces, setting the stage for the challenges to the subsidies issued for HealthCare.gov plans.

Tough luck.

Two separate federal district court judges — one in DC, the other in Virginia — have rejected plaintiffs’ challenge to the subsidies. Those denials lead to the appeals in the DC federal circuit and in the Fourth Circuit…

The subsidies are available to people whose incomes are between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that’s between about $24,000 and $95,400 annually.

You know, ‘the poor.’

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

One Response to “DC Appeals Court: Most Obama-Care Subsidies Illegal”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    .. Ruling sounds like a Victory for the good guys but hang on top to your shorts .. the Evil Bastids of the DNC Witches Cabal and Pedophile Clan will pull a magic radioactive hat out of their bag of rabbits and Nancy and Harry will do something unnatural on your grave.

    because the real enemy is inside the RNC. The colluding enemy

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