WASHINGTON, DC -- Two different appeals courts have issued conflicting rulings related to a provision of the Affordable Care Act which allows consumers to receive subsidies for healthcare plans purchased on exchanges established by the federal government. The first ruling, from a panel on the District of Columbia's Circuit Court, invalidated an IRS regulation regarding the ability of qualifying low- and middle-income consumers to receive subsidies for insurance plans purchased on a federally run exchange. The second ruling reached the opposite conclusion, and upheld the provision of subsidies on federal exchanges. Maine currently operates on a federally established healthcare insurance exchange.
U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud issued the following statement in response to today's rulings:
"I believe the ruling from the D.C. Circuit Court this morning undermines the spirit and intent of healthcare reform -- which is providing quality and affordable healthcare to all Americans, and getting the rapidly increasing costs of our healthcare system under control. I have always supported the establishment of a state exchange in Maine because I believe that is the best way for Mainers to access good, affordable healthcare.
"It's important for the many Mainers who currently have plans through the federal exchange to know that nothing related to their cost or coverage is changing right now as a result of today's rulings. With two conflicting decisions, it will take quite some time for this case to make its way through the legal system.
"I remain committed to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to find bipartisan fixes for the Affordable Care Act that will ensure as many Americans as possible have access to efficient, quality and affordable healthcare."