In what could be a major blow to the Affordable Care Act, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled Tuesday that subsidies may not be offered in the federal health exchange. The decision overturned a lower court ruling. You can read the decision here.
The Washington Post: Federal Appeals Court Panel Deals Major Blow To Health Law A federal appeals court panel in the District struck down a major part of the 2010 health-care law Tuesday, ruling that the tax subsidies that are central to the program may not be provided in at least half of the states. … The government could request an “en banc” hearing, putting the case before the entire appeals court, and the question ultimately may end up at the Supreme Court. But if subsidies for half the states are barred, it represents a potentially crippling blow to the health-care law, which relies on the subsidies to make insurance affordable for millions of low- and middle-income Americans (Somashekhar, 7/22).
The Wall Street Journal: Court Rejects Some Health-Care Law Insurance Subsidies 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 (Kendall, 7/22).
Los Angeles Times: D.C. Court Ruling Deals New Blow To Obama’s Affordable Care Act In a 2-1 vote, a panel of judges on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia judges rejected the Obama administration’s argument that the problem was triggered by imprecise language in the complex law and that Congress had always intended to offer the subsidies nationwide to low-and middle-income people who bought insurance through one of the state or federal health exchanges created under the law (Savage, 7/22).
The New York Times: Court Deals Setback To Health Care Law The law “does not authorize the Internal Revenue Service to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal exchanges,” said the ruling, by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The law, it said, “plainly makes subsidies available only on exchanges established by states” (Pear, 7/22).
USA Today: Appeals Court Panel Deals Blow To Obamacare federal appeals court dealt a potentially major blow to President Obama’s health care law Tuesday, ruling that participants in health exchanges run by the federal government in 34 states are not eligible for tax subsidies. The 2-1 ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, which is sure to be appealed by the government, threatens the framework of the health care system for about 5 million Americans without employer-provided health plans (Wolf, 7/22).
The Associated Press: Federals Appeals Court Delivers Serious Setback To Obama Health Care Law If upheld, the decision could mean premium increases for more than half of the 8 million Americans who purchased taxpayer-subsidized insurance under the law. It affects consumers who purchased their coverage through the federal insurance marketplace — or exchange— that serves 36 states (7/22).
Politico: D.C. Appeals Court Strikes Obamacare Subsidies The case Halbig v. Burwell is one of several lawsuits in which individuals or state officials are challenging the Obama administration’s authority to grant subsidies in the form of tax credits to low- and middle-income Americans buying health coverage through the federal-run exchanges serving 36 states (Winfield Cunningham, 7/22).
Bloomberg: Obamacare Aid For Plan Buyers On U.S. Exchange Overturned The decision, if it withstands appeals, may deprive more than half the people who signed up for Obamacare the tax credits they need to buy a health plan. The way the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is written makes clear that the subsidy is available only to people who bought plans on state-run exchanges, a three-judge panel in Washington ruled today (Zajac, 7/22).
Vox: Why A Federal Court Just Ruled Obamacare Subsidies Are Illegal In 36 States Without subsidies, health reform could fall apart. That makes this court case a bigger deal than GOP efforts to repeal Obamacare. There have been over 40 repeal votes since the law was passed, but they’ve always been toothless: even if repeal made it through Congress, President Obama promised to veto any legislation that dismantled his signature legislation. But this court case is out of Congress’s hands — and out of President Obama’s, too (McIntyre, 7/22).
Reuters: Appeals Court Throws Out IRS Rule On Obamacare Subsidies A three-judge panel returned the case to a lower court with instructions to rule in favor of appellants who had sued to overturn the rule. The ruling has the potential to cripple the implementation of the law by making health insurance unaffordable for many people (Morgan, Hurley and Viswanatha, 7/22).
The Hill: Federal Appeals Court Strikes Blow Against ObamaCare Subsidies A federal appears court on Tuesday struck down one of the pillars of ObamaCare, ruling that the law’s premium subsidies are invalid in more than two-dozen states. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals said the Affordable Care Act does not permit the IRS to distribute premium subsidies in the federal ObamaCare exchange, meaning those consumers must bear the full cost of their insurance (Veibeck, 7/22).
CNN: Appeals Court Strikes Down Key Part Of Obamacare Program The administration is expected to appeal the ruling (Mears, 7/22).
CNBC: Fed Appeals Court Panel Says Most Obamacare Subsidies Illegal The decision threatens to unleash a cascade of effects that could seriously compromise Obamacare’s goals of compelling people to get health insurance, and helping them afford it (Mangan, 7/22).
This is part of Kaiser Health News’ Daily Report – a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day’s news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, Kaisers staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on Kaisers home page