Conflicting Rulings by Federal Appeals Court Regarding Obamacare Subsidies

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You remember the recent Hobby Lobby case regarding the Affordable Car Act, right? Well, this new ruling by a federal court could deal a much larger blow to Obamacare than the Hobby Lobby ruling. 

The ruling focuses on whether or not the federal government will be able to subsidize health insurance premiums. For those that don’t know much about the law, or like a majority of Americans, find the law outrageously confusing, this is what you need to know in regards to this ruling. 

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC. From: http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/home.nsf

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC. From: http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/home.nsf

States are not required under the Affordable Care Act to provide a state health insurance exchange. Instead, they may opt to simply participate in the federal exchange program. As of now, 34 states have decided not to set up their own exchanges and participate in the federal exchange. This is where the courts have found the problem.

One court decided in a 2-1 ruling that the law clearly states the federal government cannot subsidize health insurance premiums in states that have opted out of creating their own exchanges. If this ruling is upheld (it will likely be appealed and reconsidered before heading to the Supreme Court), it will be a major blow to Obamacare. Without the subsidies, many low and medium income families will not be able to afford health insurance, which is now mandatory under the law. 

However, a second court, the The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled in favor of the ACA only a few hours after the first ruling. This court ruled that it is acceptable for the federal government to subsidize health insurance premiums in states that opted out of the exchange program. 

There will more more to come as the courts review their decisions. 

We’ll keep you updated. 

-Political Rush

 

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