Barack Obama's disastrous healthcare law received a serious blow July 22nd 2014 from a federal appeals court. Billions of dollars in subsidies for low income individuals who purchased policies are now in jeopardy.
Not surprisingly, Obama made a statement immediately declaring that those policyholders would continue to receive financial aid as a review of today's ruling is sought. Josh Ernest, a White House spokesperson, stated that the decision would not impact tax credits of enrollees as the case is debated further. However, whether or not these statements are accurate remains to be seen. Most Americans remember many other statements concerning Obamacare that did not contain a shred of truth.
The ruling was handed down by the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. The case involved a group of small business owners who presented arguments concerning the law, stating that subsidies are only given to individuals who purchase insurance through established state markets, not those managed by the federal government.
In a 2-1 decision, the court agreed, and this could mean skyrocketing premiums for over 50 percent of the eight million Americans who allegedly bought taxpayer subsidized policies under the new law. The ruling will affect individuals who purchased insurance in the 36 states that refused to set up their own exchanges, and are subsequently managed by the federal government with the same efficiency seen with everything else the federal government manages.
In today's ruling, two judges appointed by Republican presidents cast their votes against Obama's interpretation of the law, while one Democratic-appointed judge dissented. A spokesman for the administration stated that a hearing is being sought that would involve the full 11-judge court. The reason for this is obvious: the majority of the 11 judges were appointed by liberal presidents, including four Obama appointees.
The general opinion was that the law unambiguously restricts subsides to customers of state exchanges and the case centers on one phrase in the extensively wordy law that says tax credits are for those who enroll in an “exchange established by the state."
The issue is crucial to the law's success–which many believe is already a lost cause– as most states were unwilling to create their own exchanges for a variety of reasons, some of which include beliefs that the law itself is unconstitutional and in the long run will only hurt the economy, the taxpayer and the consumer. Ultimately, as the case is argued, it will once again be the taxpayers who pick up the tab for yet another bill created by the unmitigated disaster called Obamacare.