Carolina Journal’s Dan Way reports on the two conflicting Court of Appeals Obamacare rulings that were released Tuesday.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Tuesday ruled 2-1 that the federal government cannot tax employers in order to provide health insurance subsidies in North Carolina and 35 other states that refused to establish Obamacare exchanges, potentially threatening the national health reform.
That same day, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond unanimously upheld the subsidies, rejecting similar arguments by plaintiffs in another case. Both lawsuits charged the IRS with rewriting the law in 2012 illegally.
Because of the split in the circuit court decisions, legal observers believe the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately will decide the issue, which affects more than 50 million people who bought taxpayer-subsidized insurance policies on the federal exchange.
“One’s right and one’s wrong, that’s really the gist of it,” said Sam Kazman, general counsel of the Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute, of the decisions. Kazman coordinated the plaintiffs’ arguments in the Halbig v. Burwell case before the D.C. Circuit, and also worked on the King v. Burwell case before the 4th Circuit.
Continue reading for the details on each case.
And don’t forget to follow the analysis of Obamacare made by JLF health and human services analyst Katherine Restrepo.