WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) commended the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit’s ruling in Halbig v. Burwell that the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) premium subsidies are invalid in states that do not have their own healthcare exchanges. The 2-1 ruling was issued hours before the entire Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the subsidies were a legitimate exercise of discretion by the Internal Revenue Service.
The D.C. Court stated that the plain language of section 36B of the ACA “unambiguously” restricts subsidies to insurance purchased in exchanges established by a state. However, the Fourth Circuit found that this language was ambiguous in the context of other language in the statute and therefore subsidies could be issued to individuals in states with a federal exchange. The next step will either be a hearing before the full D.C. Circuit Court of a direct appeal to the Supreme Court.
“If the D.C. Circuit Court’s decision prevails, it would be a huge win for taxpayers. It would mean that the Obama administration had once again changed the law contrary to congressional intent and spent billions of dollars without the proper legal authority,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz. “Regardless of the final decision in the courts, the D.C. Circuit has reminded taxpayers that Obamacare should be replaced with a patient-centric, market-driven system and not one run by bureaucrats and politicians.”
CCAGW is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.