As expected, late last week the Obama administration asked the D.C. Court of Appeals to convene a fuller panel of its judges to reconsider that court’s recent Halbig decision; a three-judge panel of that court ruled in July that ACA unambiguously authorizes IRS subsidies only for people with health coverage obtained on state health insurance exchanges, not federal exchanges. Also late last week, losing parties in the Fourth Circuit King lawsuit, addressing the same question and published the same day as Halbig but reaching the opposite conclusion, asked the US Supreme Court to hear the dispute quickly, saying a ruling by the high court would end the uncertainty about the subsidy matter. Similar cases on the public health insurance exchange subsides are pending in Oklahoma and Indiana. Subsidies are still available on federal exchanges, and likely will continue to be until the litigation is resolved.
This begins the first week of the August recess for both chambers of Congress. The continued implementation of health care reform, as well as the upcoming enrollment period for 2015 on public exchanges, are likely to be topics of discussion in members’ home districts.