, a federal appeals court ruled, in Hilbig vs. Burwell, that subsidies enabling people to afford insurance in the federal exchange or health marketplace would no longer be given by the government.
The 2:1 ruling not only targets the 4.5 million individuals that were eligible for this insurance subsidy, it cuts President Obama’s ACA law at the knees.
The 3-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stated:
The IRS isn’t authorized to “provide tax credits for insurance purchased on federal exchanges” and furthermore, the law says “plainly makes subsidies available only on exchanges established by states.”
As you may recall, more than half of the states had rejected pleas from President Obama’s administration to set up their own health insurance exchanges.The decision, which affects all those within the insurance marketplace run by the government, will affect more than 50% of thesthose who registered for the tax crefdits needed to purchase a health plan.Thomas Griffith, one of the judges of the appeals court stated:
“At least until states that wish to can set up Exchanges, our ruling will ikely have significant consequences both for the millions of individuals receiving tax credits through federal Exchanges and for health insurance markets more broady.”
The subsidiy will oly be available to those purchasing plans on state-run exchanges.
Robert Blendon, health policy professor at Harvard School of Public Health points out that “ a very large share of people need the subsidies.” If the ruling isn’t overturned, “it basically would significantly cripple the law”.
According to Avalere Health, a consulting firm, by banning federal subsidies, those aquiring health insurance via federal exchanges will be hit with an average premium escalation by 76^ in thoe 36 states. Those states will forgo approximately $36 billion in federal subsidies to purchase insurace. Florida alone is at risk of losing $4.8 billion.
The appeals court is adamant about the letter of the law being “unambiguously restricting” the laws subsidies to policies sold through exchanges established by the state.
An appeal wil be forthcoming, but while the politicians fight among themselves, a disaster is looming for the American public, caught in the middle.
What are your suggestions for affordable Healthcare? Share your opinions in the comment box below.