Federal Appeals Court Guts Key Provision Of Obamacare

A three-judge D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Affordable Care Act subsidies are illegal in the 36 states that didn’t build exchanges. Administration will seek a full review.

Larry Downing / Reuters

A D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Tuesday that the Affordable Care Act’s subsidies are illegal in the states that rely on the federal health exchange, gutting a key part of the health care law.

The case centers around whether the Affordable Care Act and a subsequent IRS rule make subsidies available under the federal exchange. The government argued the law said that the government could do this; on Tuesday, the three-judge panel said the rule is too broad, and therefore that the subsidies given to individuals purchasing health care through the federal exchange are not permitted by the law.

Thirty-six states do not currently have fully functional state-based health exchanges.

The federal government is expected to appeal the ruling. It either could first ask for “en banc” review of the case from the D.C. Circuit, in which all the judges on the court would review the case (rather than the three-person panel), or the government could seek review from the Supreme Court.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday, “This ruling does not have any practical impact,” and said the administration would seek a full review.

Check out more articles on!

Katherine Miller is the political editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Katherine Miller at
Here Are The Top Stories
  • More debris – believed to be part of the missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 – has been found washed up on the Indian Ocean island of Réunion on Sunday.
  • A conservation group at Oxford University told BuzzFeed News that media reports of Jericho's death were not true and that the 11-year-old lion was "alive and well".
  • A Memphis police officer was shot dead on Saturday night while conducting a routine traffic stop, according to a statement from the Memphis Police Department.
Get The News App

More News

More News

Now Buzzing