Forget Hobby Lobby—This Case Could Wreck Obamacare
Our best hope for getting rid of ObamaCare is to elect conservatives to both congress and the Presidency.
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A federal appeals court might be on the verge of blowing a massive hole in the foundation of Obamacare.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit is expected to rule any day now in a lawsuit that aims to block the law’s insurance subsidies in more than half the country. If the challengers ultimately prevail, the Affordable Care Act’s complex framework could begin to unravel as millions of people lose financial assistance.
For now, the stakes are a lot higher than the odds of success—challenges to the insurance subsidies have a 0-2 record in federal courts. But the pending D.C. Circuit ruling may be the one to break that streak, according to legal experts on both sides of the issue.
A three-judge panel heard oral arguments in the case, Halbig v. Sebelius, in March. Two judges appeared to split along partisan lines, leaving Judge Thomas Griffith, a George W. Bush appointee, as the likely swing vote. Griffith seemed during oral arguments to at least be open to the challengers’ arguments, and perhaps leaning in their direction.
A ruling against the Obama administration wouldn’t immediately damage the Affordable Care Act, and it wouldn’t mean that the administration will ultimately lose. But it would give the challengers their first victory and ensure that the issue keeps moving through the courts.