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Court ruling creates uncertainty for health care exchanges

Health care has been a controversial topic the last five years with the introduction of the Affordable Care Act. The drawn out implementation of the law and various changes have made it very confusing for consumers. All had seemed fairly calm until yesterday when a Federal appeals court handed down a ruling that opened up the seeds of uncertainty for consumers again.

In summary, the ruling denies the use of tax credits in the states with federally run exchanges. The U.S. Court of Appeals in the D.C. District said, “A federal exchange is not an exchange established by the state. We reach this conclusion, frankly, with reluctance. Our ruling will likely have significant consequences both for millions of individuals receiving tax credits and for health insurance markets more broadly.”

What does that mean for Americans? There are thirty-six states with federally run exchanges, and with no tax credits it will make it cost-prohibitive for many participants. Democrats brushed off the ruling, but Republicans celebrated by saying the ruling is a major game changer that could kill the law. It sounds as though there will be more legal maneuvering and consumers will be left with continued uncertainty.

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