The future of Obamacare subsidies in 36 states will be reconsidered in court—this time in a situation more favorable for the White House.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit announced Thursday that it will reconsider a three-judge panel's July decision eliminating insurance subsidies for coverage bought on the federal exchange. The 2-1 ruling would make the subsidies illegal for more than half the country, rendering health coverage unaffordable for many and dealing a major blow to the foundation of the health care law if ultimately upheld.
A recent report from the Urban Institute estimated that 7.3 million people could lose out on $36 billion in financial assistance if the federal subsidies are nullified.
Thursday's court order means the July opinion is invalidated, and the case will be heard by the full D.C. Circuit Court. The announcement is good news for the Obama administration, which requested that the court rehear the case.
While the three-judge panel was comprised of two Republican appointees and one Democratic appointee, the majority of active judges on the full D.C. Circuit were tapped by Democratic presidents. There are 11 active judges on the court, seven of whom are Democratic appointees. Two senior judges who were on the three-judge panel—one Democrat and one Republican—will also weigh in.