Federal appeals court deals blow to Obamacare

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Dueling opinions on Obamacare will impact millions of Americans, thousands right here in Florida. Two rulings were handed down Tuesday just hours apart by two different appeals courts concerning the Affordable Care Act. The issue at hand are tax credits and who should be entitled to them.

"I've never had health insurance," said Matt Weed.

So when the opportunity presented itself he jumped at the chance to sign up for coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

But Weed says the program did not live up to its name, "you can't afford it."

He's riding both sides of the fence when it comes to Obamacare. The healthcare law hasn't worked out in his favor but he says the coverage his father received helped to save his life.

"He did eventually receive it," said Weed. "And just after he got it he had a heart attack."

Weed explains the family could not have afforded his father's medical bills without Obamacare.

"It would have been outrageous for him," said Weed.

The courts are divided over a provision that gives tax credits to people who buy coverage through the state-run exchanges. Conservatives argue the law doesn't specifically extend that state tax credit to people who sign up for the federal exchange, which is the only option for people in Florida and the 35 other states which opted out of Obamacare.

"It should not just be for certain people," said Weed.

The thousands of people in the Sunshine state who signed up for Obamacare including Weed's father should not have been eligible for tax credits according to the ruling handed down by the D.C Circuit Court Tuesday. Just hours later the 4th Circuit Court in Virginia ruled otherwise. Declaring the subsidies legal. Now the issue will have to be decided by the Supreme Court.

"It's just ridiculous," said Weed.

Joyce Case with the Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida says healthcare consumers should know nothing will happen until the issue is decided by the courts. Open enrollment begins November15th. If you have any questions you can contact healthcare navigators toll free at 866.295.5955.


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