The DC Circuit Court agreed today to rehear Halbig v. Burwell, a case over tax subsidies in the Affordable Care Act. In a 2-1 decision issued July 22, 2014, a panel of the DC Circuit found that the federal government lacks the authority to provide consumers tax subsidies in health insurance exchanges not run by the states. That same day, a ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in King v. Burwell upheld the federal government’s ability to distribute subsidies. The decision to rehear Halbig v. Burwell en banc makes it possible that the full DC Circuit will reverse the July 22 ruling, thus eliminating the split with the 4th Circuit and making it less likely that the US Supreme Court will review the issue.
Oral arguments have been set for December 17, 2014.