Weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Barack Obama’s healthcare law cannot force closely held corporations to violate the religious liberty of their owners by demanding they provide abortifacient drugs, a federal appeals court took another bite out of the troubled legislation.
Upon dissecting the convoluted law, the court decided by a 2 to 1 margin that ObamaCare does not, in fact, allow the federal government to provide subsidies to low-income enrollees. The majority found that the law only allows for state exchanges to provide such assistance.
Specifically, plaintiffs cited a phrase found in the law declaring that subsidies may only be afforded “through an Exchange established by the State” pursuant to Section 1311 of the law. The case comes after the Internal Revenue Service asserted in 2012 that ObamaCare enrollees could qualify for tax credits even if their state only participates in a federal exchange.
Judges ultimately found that the federal government was unable to adequately refute the plaintiffs’ case.
“We conclude that appellants have the better of the argument: a federal Exchange is not an ‘Exchange established by the State,” the decision states; “and section 36B does not authorize the IRS to provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal Exchanges.”
If ultimately upheld, the decision would disrupt the exchanges set up in a majority – 36 – of U.S. states.
Obviously, the Obama administration is displeased with the ruling. According to a source contacted by Business Insider, the federal government plans to appeal the decision before a D.C. Circuit Court presided over by a clear majority of judges appointed by Democrat presidents.
Emily Pierce of the Justice Department declared that the ruling was “incorrect” and “at odds with the goal of the law,” assuring current subsidy recipients enrolled in the federal exchange that they can basically disregard the decision.
“The government will therefore immediately review the court’s decision,” she said. “In the meantime, to be clear, people getting premium tax credits should know that nothing has changed, tax credits remain available.”
As parties on both sides of the issue ramp up for yet another ObamaCare showdown, potentially at the Supreme Court level, opponents of the law are celebrating yet another court decision that seems to legitimize their concerns.
I applaud the U.S. Court of Appeals for their ruling today that eliminates the federal govt’s ability to provide subsidies under Obamacare.
— Luther Strange (@lutherstrange) July 22, 2014
On the same day, however, an appeals court in Richmond, Va. issued its own ruling on the issue, finding that the federal subsidies do not violate the law.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom