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Court Rulings Add Confusion on Health Care

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There is now some confusion over subsidies in the Affordable Care Act.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says health subsidies under the health care law will continue to flow for the time being despite a major setback delivered by a federal appeals court. The ruling potentially derails billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies. But White House spokesman Josh Earnest says while the case works its way through the courts, it has “no practical impact” on tax credits. Earnest says there are mixed legal opinions on whether people who buy insurance through state-based markets can get subsidies. The ruling affects consumers in the 36 states served by the federal marketplace.

And yet, another Appeals Court disagrees…

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court in Virginia has upheld tax subsidies for low- and middle-income people who buy insurance under the Obama administration’s health care reform law.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday unanimously rejected a claim that the law provides the subsidies only to people who buy policies through state-run exchanges. The court backed an Internal Revenue Service regulation that makes the subsidies available regardless of whether policies are purchased through state exchanges or one established by the federal government.

Thirty-six states are served by the federal insurance marketplace.

The decision conflicts with another one issued Tuesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court ruled 2-1 that the subsidies are available only through state exchanges.

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