States could opt to operate their own exchanges to blunt impact of recent federal appeals court decision

Of course, CQ Healthbeat reports, this scenario is still a long shot, but it offers a possible workaround if the recent ruling that consumers could not use health law subsidies to buy insurance on becomes law.

CQ Healthbeat: States' Access to Federal Website Could Be Critical Under Subsidy Challenge
A dozen or more states now lacking their own health law insurance exchanges may create the marketplaces in order to maintain the flow of subsidy dollars if they are able to use the federal website for eligibility and enrollment, said Larry Levitt, senior vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation. Doing so would blunt the expected impact on coverage expansion from the federal appeals court ruling handed down Tuesday in Halbig v Burwell. It's a long shot but still a possibility, that the ruling by a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will become the law of the land (Reichard, 7/24).

In related news -

The Wall Street Journal: The Lawyer Who Helped Spark This Week's Affordable Care Act Rulings
Months after the Affordable Care Act became law, employment benefits lawyer Thomas Christina paced in his Greenville, S.C., office with its oil portrait of a greenhouse. He was reading the statute to learn its impact on clients. By his reading, the wording only allowed health insurance subsidies to be provided through state exchanges. It began to dawn on him that he'd stumbled on something big (Armour, 7/24).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

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