U.S. District Court Judge Paul Friedman ruled on Jan. 15 in favor of the federal subsidies contained in the Affordable Care Act as approved by Congress, Reuters reported. A number of individuals and business owners from several states, including Kansas, Missouri and Virginia, brought the suit against U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
At issue, according to the claimants, was that the language contained in the ACA – approved in 2010 – only allowed individuals who signed up through state-run healthcare insurance exchanges to take advantage of federal subsidies. As a result, exchanges that were established by the federal government should be excluded from the ACA’s ruling. However, Judge Friedman didn’t support this idea.
“There is evidence throughout the statute of Congress’s desire to ensure broad access to affordable health coverage,” indicated the judge.
According to the ACA, individuals without insurance or with insufficient coverage would be offered subsidized coverage, or plans that are more affordable. Out of 50 states, only 14 chose to create their own website, which resulted in the majority of enrollees signing up through the federal site.