The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision that health insurance subsidies provided by the Affordable Care Act are invalid in the 36 states with federal health insurance marketplaces.
The Affordable Care Act, colloquially called Obamacare, established what are known as health insurance marketplaces or exchanges, where consumers can buy health insurance plans. Sixteen states operate their own marketplaces, and the remaining two-thirds of states use the federal marketplace, Healthcare.gov.
These marketplaces also offer low-earners certain subsidies to help cover the cost of healthcare, which the law states may be provided "through an Exchange established by the State.
In Halbig v. Burwell, the challengers to the law argued that this means that, technically, the subsidies should only be available to the state-run marketplaces, not through Healthcare.gov.
Today, the Court agreed.
This means that more than 5 million people in 36 states who are currently receiving health insurance subsidies through the federal marketplaces could potentially be shut out, as the graphic below shows.
Business Insider/ Skye Gould
Data on health insurance marketplaces from the Department of Health and Human Services.
The health insurance subsidies won't be cut off immediately.The Hill reports that the government is expected to appeal the decision and it looks like the case may eventually be headed to the Supreme Court.
As BI's Brett Logiurato reported, Avalere Health, an independent healthcare firm, released an analysis of each state's subsidies that show how much they will be impacted. Here's the state-by-state breakdown.
Update: We added the word "subsidies" to this headline to clarify that the ruling invalidated subsidies in these states, not Obamacare overall.
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