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News Section: National Government

Obamacare Ruling Could Cost Floridians Billions

Published Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:04 am

BRADENTON – Nearly a million Floridians would lose almost $5 billion in the government subsidies that help people afford insurance premiums under the Affordable Care Act, if a federal appeals court decision rendered Tuesday is upheld.

Without the subsidies, Floridians who obtain policies through the federal exchange would see their premiums rise by an average of 80-95 percent, according to a new report by Avalere Health. The only state that is estimated to face a bigger impact is Texas, whose residents receive over five and a half billion dollars in such subsidies.

The U.S. Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit ruled in Halbig vs. Burwell that the federal government is not authorized by the law to offer subsidies to citizens of 34 states (including Florida) who must use the exchange because their state did not comply with the law's directive to set one up.

However another three-judge panel on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., issued a contradictory ruling just hours later. The White House said that policyholders will keep getting the assistance until the legal implications are decided.

The administration will now ask the full 11-member U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to hear the case. That court includes seven judges who were appointed by Democratic presidents, four of whom were appointed by President Obama himself.

Should the court of appeals decline to hear the case, it would likely be taken up by the Supreme Court.

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Thanks Rick Scott for screwing us once again.
Posted by Jane King on July 25, 2014

I noted that this ruling was made by Republican judges and that a different outcome was delivered by Democratic judges, demonstrating politicalization of the judiciary. Making health care prohibitively expensive for the poor just passes on high ER health care costs to the rest of us. This is a time when compassionate conservatism makes sense for all fiscal conservatives. So sad that hate-filled conservatives continue to get their way by using misinformation and bias to fool enough citizens to vote against their own best interests.
Posted by NancyRDean on July 24, 2014

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