Federal Appeals Court Says Most Obamacare Subsidies Are Illegal

The Constitutional Law Professor-in-Chief continued his judicial losing streak this morning when the DC Circuit court deemed that Obamacare subsidies sold through HealthCare.gov are illegal under the ACA.

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 by 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.

ObamaCare specifically states, several times I might add, that someone can receive a subsidy only if they are enrolled in a qualified health plan “through an Exchange established by the State.”  As of last count, only 16 states created their own exchanges.  

I wonder how long it will be before Obama uses his Pen to (illegally) cross out those 4 pesky words?