Two Republican judges on the D.C. Circuit Court have ruled that the equivalent of a typo is enough to strip health care subsidies from up to five million people, dealing what would be a death blow to the Affordable Care Act if the decision is allowed to stand. The one Democrat on the panel dissented.
The three-judge panel ruled in Halbig v. Burwell that people in the 36 states that use the federal health insurance exchange are ineligible for subsidized insurance. The decision would also affect those who purchased insurance through the exchange but don't receive subsidies, as reneging on the payments would lead to a rapid increase in insurance rates for everyone.
The White House said Tuesday the decision will be appealed to the entire D.C. circuit court — what's known as an en banc review — where Democrats hold a majority that is nearly certain to overturn the GOP judges' aggressive move. The next step could be the Supreme Court, which already upheld the Affordable Care Act in a separate case two years ago.
I would ask if they next plan to sue over the Civil Rights Act but LET'S NOT GIVE THEM IDEAS.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) May 16, 2013