"Two federal appellate courts handed down contradictory rulings Tuesday on the legality of a central part of the Affordable Care Act that provides insurance subsidies to millions of Americans in three dozen states that rely on the new federal health insurance marketplace," The Washington Post reports.
The story reports: "The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the tax credits available under the 2010 health-care law may be provided only to residents of states that set up their own marketplaces. Less than two hours later, the Richmond-based 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a separate case that the law’s language was ambiguous so that the Obama administration was free to allow the subsidies nationwide."
The article adds, "The government immediately announced it was seeking an “en banc” hearing in the D.C. case, requesting that it be heard before the entire appeals court. The question ultimately may end up at the Supreme Court. But if subsidies for half the states are barred, it represents a potentially crippling blow to the health-care law, which relies on the subsidies to make insurance affordable for millions of low- and middle-income Americans."
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