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( Forbes -- 3/25/2014 )
While hundreds of people were rallying for religious liberty on a snowy day outside the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, there were heated arguments inside a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals courtroom a few blocks away, both involving challenges to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
The Circuit Court, with Judge Thomas. B. Griffith presiding, heard oral arguments in Halbig v. Sebelius about whether tax subsidies for health insurance can be distributed through exchanges established by the federal government.
Sec. 1311 of the Affordable Care Act says that health insurance subsidies are available only “through an Exchange established by the State.” The IRS, however, interpreted the statute to mean that the subsidies also could be distributed through federal exchanges in the 34 states that declined to create their own exchanges.