On September 4, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit granted the U.S. Government’s petition to re-hear Halbig v. Burwell en banc which means that all active judges on the court will now hear the case.
For a more detailed explanation of the general arguments in Halbig, click here. However, in short, the question is whether the subsidies provided for by the Affordable Care Act for those who purchase health insurance through the exchanges apply to purchases from any exchange or are limited strictly to purchases from the state-based exchanges and not the federal exchange. The original three-judge panel at the D.C. Circuit ruled 2-1 that the ACA limited these subsidies only to purchases from the state-based exchanges. However, on the same day, the 4th Circuit ruled unanimously the complete opposite and held the subsidies also applied for those who purchased in the federal exchange. This has the potential to make the Supreme Court docket at some point in the future.
Oral argument is scheduled for 9:30 am on Wednesday, December 17, 2014.