WASHINGTON - A US appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies.
If upheld, the decision could mean premium increases for more than half of the 8 million Americans who purchased taxpayer-subsidized insurance under the law, considered Obama's signature first term achievement.
It affects consumers who purchased their coverage through the federal insurance marketplace — or exchange— that serves 36 states.
A three-judge panel in Washington ruled 2-1 that the law, as written, only allows insurance subsidies in states that have set up their own exchanges. That invalidated a tax agency regulation that allowed subsidies in all 50 states.
Original headline: Appeals court decision threatens health law subsidies in 36 states served by federal exchange
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