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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 07-25-2014, 11:38 AM   #106
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Good things happen during Obama's presidency: Obama did it!

Bad things happen during Obama's presidency: Well these things are beyond his control. Besides, Republicans are to blame.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:39 AM   #107
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Get out of the conservative bubble.

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But put simply, it prevented a second recession that could have turned into a depression. It created or saved an average of 1.6 million jobs a year for four years. (There are the jobs, Mr. Boehner.) It raised the nation’s economic output by 2 to 3 percent from 2009 to 2011. It prevented a significant increase in poverty — without it, 5.3 million additional people would have become poor in 2010.
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It’s probably too late for the White House to persuade skeptics about its program, but its assessment echoes the views of many independent economists and the independent Congressional Budget Office. “The Recovery Act was not a failed program,” the C.B.O.’s director, Douglas Elmendorf, told annoyed Republican lawmakers in 2012. “Our position is that it created higher output and employment than would have occurred without it.”
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/op...shed.html?_r=0
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:40 AM   #108
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That doesn't say it prevented a depression. Nice try.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:42 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by Loneiguana View Post
Get out of the conservative bubble.





http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/23/op...shed.html?_r=0
I'm laughing because preventing a depression (which was just a possibility, not a certainty) isn't the same thing as pushing the Dow to a record highs.

I think it's pretty obvious that Obama isn't a fan of big business. That is why I wrote that those things happened despite Obama.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:50 AM   #110
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Can you list anything that Obama has done which caused those things to happen?

Let's start with just one: What did he do to spur the Dow?
Positive job growth for example?
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) is forging further into record territory following better-than-expected reports on the U.S. jobs market. As of 1:10 p.m. EDT the Dow was up 73 points to 16,909,
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:53 AM   #111
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Positive job growth for example?
And why does Obama get credit for that?
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:55 AM   #112
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And why does Obama get credit for that?
Same reason why he gets blamed for shitty job performance or because wages are lower
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:58 AM   #113
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Same reason why he gets blamed for shitty job performance or because wages are lower
I know. I just think it's funny that Obama is being sold as a champion of Wall Street in that graphic. I don't think most people would argue that.

It's really a question of causation or correlation.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:01 PM   #114
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I know. I just think it's funny that Obama is being sold as a champion of Wall Street in that graphic. I don't think most people would argue that.

It's really a question of causation or correlation.
I wouldn't say he is a champion of Wall Street but outside of Dodd-Frank what has he really done to go against them? They all are still to big to fail, no one went to jail, and they are making boat loads of cash.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:04 PM   #115
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I wouldn't say he is a champion of Wall Street but outside of Dodd-Frank what has he really done to go against them? They all are still to big to fail, no one went to jail, and they are making boat loads of cash.
That's why I say it's weird to give him credit, Dirk. It's happened despite him.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:28 PM   #116
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Osama dead
Got us out of Iraq
Getting us out of Afghanistan
And this is why facts matter more than talking points...

The DOW has many alarmed, as it is ready to pop. Even the Feds are wearisome.

Real unemployment is over 18%, but don't let facts get in the way of a contorted way of measuring the unemployed.

Econ 101: GDP is a horribly flawed measure and by definition, panders to big government spending.

Consumer confidence highest it's been since January 2008. Ya see, we tanked when the bubble burst:

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Old 07-25-2014, 12:37 PM   #117
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People leaving the workforce is a good thing and should increase as the baby boomer generation retires.

And the baby boom generation needs to be retiring faster then they currently are.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:39 PM   #118
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Why is the Dow being used as an example of why Obama has been a good thing for Americans?

Are you telling me that companies that are dodging taxes, suppressing wages and fueling the executive - worker pay gap succeeding on the stock market is a sign we're doing well now?
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:54 PM   #119
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Are you telling me that companies that are dodging taxes, suppressing wages and fueling the executive - worker pay gap succeeding on the stock market is a sign we're doing well now?
And that would change under any other president? A republican is going to come in and magically start forcing companies to not be shady?
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:03 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by Xanathol View Post
And this is why facts matter more than talking points...

The DOW has many alarmed, as it is ready to pop. Even the Feds are wearisome.

Real unemployment is over 18%, but don't let facts get in the way of a contorted way of measuring the unemployed.

Econ 101: GDP is a horribly flawed measure and by definition, panders to big government spending.

Consumer confidence highest it's been since January 2008. Ya see, we tanked when the bubble burst:
When a Ds numbers are good, it is always because of a bubble or its artificial, or it's not "real unemployment" or, all of a sudden, a rise in GDP is a bad thing or some such shit.
Was anyone here citing "real unemployment" with the last guy?
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