A federal appeals court is having second thoughts about a ruling on Halbig et al. vs. Burwell et al. (Case Number 14-5018) that could have crippled the public health insurance exchange system.
The full D.C. Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has vacated a Halbig ruling that a three-judge panel at the court issued July 22. The full court plans to hear oral arguments on the case Dec. 17, according to the court order announcing the decision.
Lawyers for Jacqueline Halbig and other plaintiffs in the case have argued that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) calls for the government to provide premium subsidies only for consumers who buy qualified health plan (QHP) coverage through state-based PPACA exchanges. PPACA does not authorize the exchanges run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide QHP premium subsidies, the plaintiffs say.
HHS and the new HHS secretary, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, have argued that the drafters of PPACA clearly meant to provide premium subsidies for users of both the state-based and HHS-run exchanges.