[Ed. – It’s a mulligan, basically. The victory was short-lived. We’ll have to run through the whole issue again, including the incontrovertible evidence that the authors of Obamacare DID mean to confine subsidies to the state exchanges — as an incentive for states to create exchanges. 38 states didn’t bite, which is why subsidies for the federal exchange insurance plans is so important to the program.]
A lawsuit that challenges the core Obamacare health insurance subsidies will get another appeals court hearing in December.
The full U.S. Appeals Court for the District of Columbia announced Thursday it will rehear the case, Halbig v. Burwell, on Dec. 17. A three-judge panel of that court in July dealt a major blow to the Affordable Care Act by ruling 2-1 that the subsidies can be available only in state-run exchanges, not through the federal HealthCare.gov, which serves 36 states that couldn’t or wouldn’t set up their own Obamacare marketplaces.
Millions of people are getting subsidies, which come in the form of a tax credit, to make health insurance more affordable. None of the credits was cut off, though, pending more legal battles over one of the key provisions of the health care law’s massive coverage expansion.
The decision to have a full, or en banc, hearing vacates the earlier ruling by the D.C. court.
The legal fights are not likely to be settled before the second open enrollment season begins on Nov. 15. The administration hopes millions more people sign up for coverage. Many would be eligible for subsidies.