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Old 07-22-2014, 08:34 AM  
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Fed appeals court panel says most Obamacare subsidies illegal

This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.

In a potentially crippling blow to Obamacare, a top federal appeals court Tuesday said that billions of dollars worth of government subsidies that helped 4.7 million people buy insurance on HealthCare.gov are not legal under the Affordable Care Act.

In its decision, a three-judge panel said that such subsidies can be granted only to 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. Plaintiffs in the case known as Halbig v. Burwell argued that the ACA, as written, only allows that often-significant financial aid to be issued to people who bought insurance on a marketplace set up a state.

The decision is certain to be challenged by the Obama Administration, and does not immediately have the effect of law. But if it is ultimately upheld, it would cause insurance rates for those people who lost the subsidies to dramatically rise.

HealthCare.gov serves residents of the 36 states that did not create their own health insurance marketplace. About 86 percent of its 5.45 million customers received a subsidy to offset the cost of their coverage this year because they had low or moderate incomes.

In a report issued Thursday, the consultancy Avalere Health said that if those subsidies were removed this year from the 4.7 million people who received them in HealthCare.gov states, their premiums would have been an average of 76 percent higher in price than what they are paying now.

Another report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute estimated that by 2016, about 7.3 million enrollees who would have qualified for financial assistance will be lose access to about $36.1 billion in subsidies if those court challenges succeed.

Before the decision, a leading Obamacare expert who was firmly opposed to the plantiffs' arguments said a ruling in their favor could have major consequences for the health-care reform law.

"If the courts were to decide that the Halbig plaintiffs were right, it would be a huge threat to the ACA," said that expert,Timothy Jost, a professor at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

"It's a very big deal," said Ron Pollack, founder of the health-care consumers advocacy group Families USA, and Enroll America, a major Obamacare advocacy group.

Pollack noted that the more than 5 million people who have received subsidies via HealthCare.gov "would have them taken away."

"It certainly would cause a lot of people to rejoin the ranks of the uninsured," Pollack said. "The provision of the tax credit premium subsidy makes a huge difference in terms of whether people considering enrollment or enrolling in coverage will find such coverage affordable."

Last week, two analyses underscored the potential effects of the subsidies ultimately being deemed illegal.

The consultancy Avalere Health said people who currently receive such subsidies in the affected stateswould see their premium rates raise an average of 76 percent.

And the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute said that by 2016, about 7.3 million enrollees would lose about $36 billion in subsidies.

On Monday, one of the intellectual godfathers of the argument that is the basis of the Halbig case, as well as three other similar pending court challenges, said that tens of millions of people would be freed from Obamacare mandates in the affected states if the challenges prevailed.

Michael Cannon, director of health policy studies at the libertarian Cato Institute, said more than 250,000 firms in those states—which have about 57 million workers—would not be subject to the employer mandate being phased in starting next year. That rule, which hinges on the availability of subsidies on Obamacare exchanges, will compel employers with 50 or more full-time workers to offer affordable health insurance or pay a fine.

Courts could cause big Obamacare $$$ hike

And if the challenge prevail, a total of about 8.3 million individuals will be "free" of Obamacare's rule that they have health insurance or pay a fine equal to as much as 1 percent of their taxable income, said Cannon, who with law professor Jonathan Adler laid the groundwork for the challenges to the HealthCare.gov subsidies.

Oral arguments heard by a three-judge panel on that DC federal appeals court in March—when two of the judges appeared sympathetic to the plaintiffs—gave Halbig supporters renewed hope that their claim would succeed.
Read MoreWhat's really surprising about Hobby Lobby ruling

Halbig was the first of those cases decided at the appellate level.

In the other case that has been heard on appeal, one first filed in Virginia federal district court, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is expected to issue a ruling any day.

However, that circuit is widely expected to rule against the plaintiffs' claims challenging the legality of the Obamacare subsidies on HealthCare.gov.

--By CNBC's Dan Mangan


Dan ManganHealth Care Reporter

http://www.cnbc.com/id/101819065
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:22 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Yes it was the intent and the letter of the law. It was designed as an imposition on the states.

What you're defending is intepretation by judges while actually ignoring the letter of the law which is NOT ambiguous. This is what progs do. I posted about this a long while back. This glitch in the law was known about and would be its downfall.
the letter of that part of the law was ambiguous given the intent and goal of the law overall and the plain language of another section dealing with the subsidies...

the letter (of part) of the law was ambiguous, courts resolve ambiguity all the time, it's what they do...
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:32 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by suzzer99 View Post
From the comments:



This is what a lot of you on this forum just don't get. There are real working people like this whose lives have been vastly improved under Obamacare. It's why your leaders have slowed way down on the repeal talk and are moving on to other issues. They know Obamacare isn't nearly as unpopular or the disaster they predicted, and they have no ideas of their own to replace it with. Which of course they knew all along. That's why they fought it so hard.

As a lot of us on here predicted - if they lost at this stage in the game they would just quietly move on. They know a large portion of the country wouldn't be affected at all, but some will be really helped.

Republicans know conservative media will be more than happy to distract the base a new set of shiny keys from the endless well of *minorities taking your hard earned money*. Eventually everyone will just accept Obamacare like they do now with SS and Medicare. 20 years from now they'll probably be running scare campaigns: "Democrats are coming to take your Obamacare!" like they do now with Medicare and death panels. Sorry for you true believers on this forum who actually believed all the propaganda. But you'll forget about it soon enough.

This is all touching but the point you seem to be missing is that we believe our way makes healthcare more affordable to the broadest amount of people - not only here but around the world. Health care costs have done nothing but exponentially increase since Nixon's HMO act. We solved that by selling everyone out to insurance companies and doing absolutely nothing to address the rising costs. And they will continue to rise.

This woman's story is important because she's going to be right back where she was in no time. This is a fleeting moment in time. Things are great for her now because she's in the milk and honey phase of this program. When everything kicks in, she'll be lucky to be able to even see a doctor.

We already saw a preview of what's ahead with the VA scandal. That's just an appetizer.
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Old 07-22-2014, 11:42 PM   #63
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These things happen when you try to jam horse manure down "We The People's throats" that is 'NOT thought thru horse manure

Like I've said before many times all that mattered at the time was just getting this big piece of horse manure into law. It is encouraging but I'm not getting my hopes up because there are just too many people "on the take" to keep this piece of horse manure law alive

Did I mention the word horse manure?
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:06 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by BucEyedPea View Post
Oh and my life has not improved under Obamacare. I lost my policy. Granted it was replaced at $2000 more a year and some lost benefits and higher deductible. So don't give me some crap about someone who paid too much before.
I believe you.

/no one
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:26 AM   #65
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I'm worse off...more expensive, higher deductibles and even had to change one doctor. That would be three strikes.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:38 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
Go on conservatives, cheer Americans potentially losing healthcare. Show us how pro-life you really are.
Go voluntarily pay for someone's health care costs if they lose coverage. Show us how compassionate you really are.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:54 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
I believe you.

/no one

I'm not one that normally agrees with BEP, but I'm in the same boat.

Old policy didn't meet the new ACA guidelines so I was forced to choose a new plan. New plan is $250 more a month - partially because I choose to increase it, partially because there was just an increase - my deductible is twice as high and my coverage is less.

I thought I was getting more when I choose the higher costing plan, but I apparently misread something somewhere because we've already paid more out of pocket this year than I have in the past 3. Then again, we don't go to the doctor often.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:11 AM   #68
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It certainly costs a lot of money, but that's a pretty difficult position to defend isn't it?
I was under the impression that Obamacare provides coverage for those who can't afford it, no? If that is accurate, why is the law requiring ERs to treat uncovered people still required?
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:13 AM   #69
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So you're cool with letting people die in the streets? Aren't the emergency room laws at the state level anyway?
People who haven't bothered to comply with Obamacare and still don't have insurance?

Sure.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:13 AM   #70
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Well donger wants to shoot people trying to cross the border. So for him I imagine it's not tough to defend letting people die for lack of money.
Warning shots, sure. If they keep coming after those...
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:27 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by suzzer99 View Post
So you're cool with letting people die in the streets? Aren't the emergency room laws at the state level anyway?
E'vr hear of charity hospitals run by religions? Oh, I forgot, lefties want to get rid of religious involvement in areas that serve the public. The prefer a full govt takeover of such things. Then they cry about "separation of church and state."
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:29 AM   #72
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Go on conservatives, cheer Americans potentially losing healthcare. Show us how pro-life you really are.
Show us how pro-death and killing humans you are by forcing others to pay for other's abortions. Then take an anti-war or anti-drone stand in other areas.

Your claims of hypocrisy or inconsistently are merely a mirror-image or the other side of the coin of conservatives.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:47 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Mr. Plow View Post
I'm not one that normally agrees with BEP, but I'm in the same boat.

Old policy didn't meet the new ACA guidelines so I was forced to choose a new plan. New plan is $250 more a month - partially because I choose to increase it, partially because there was just an increase - my deductible is twice as high and my coverage is less.

I thought I was getting more when I choose the higher costing plan, but I apparently misread something somewhere because we've already paid more out of pocket this year than I have in the past 3. Then again, we don't go to the doctor often.
I agree some people might be affected like that, but I just don't believe BEP on pretty much any of her personal anecdotes.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:54 AM   #74
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I agree some people might be affected like that, but I just don't believe BEP on pretty much any of her personal anecdotes.
Ah, I see what you're saying.

Like I said, part of my issue is my own doing. I'll be correcting that at end of year by getting a new plan...again.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:53 AM   #75
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