Judge Roger Gregory wrote that "tax credits are essential to fulfilling the [Affordable Care] Act's primary goals and that Congress was aware of their importance when drafting the bill." He also noted that "the economic framework supporting the Act would crumble if the credits were unavailable on federal exchanges."
The subsidies are a crucial piece of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Without them, millions of Americans would be unable to purchase health insurance under the controversial health-reform law. The law requires virtually all Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty in the form of a tax.
Thirty-six states chose not to create their own Internet-based exchanges for consumers to sign up for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Many are headed by Republican governors who oppose the law.
Of the more than 8 million people who signed up for an Obamacare health plan, more than 5 million selected a plan through the federal HealthCare.gov exchange, according to a June report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Eighty-seven percent of federal marketplace buyers selected plans with tax credits. Their premiums are 76 percent less than the full premium, on average, the report indicated.
The Affordable Care Act, often dubbed Obamacare, was championed by President Barack Obama and passed by Congress in 2010. The law is particularly unpopular with Republicans, who view it as an unconstitutional intrusion by the federal government into individual rights.
Opponents of the law maintain that Congress never intended to allow people who purchased plans in states that relied on the federally operated exchange to receive tax-credit subsidies.
Andrew Kloster, a legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., said the statute clearly directs subsidies "only to states that elected to set up insurance exchanges." He sai
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