Oral arguments are scheduled for December 17th

In a big win for the the Obama administration the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted a rare en banc rehearing in Halbig v. Burwell, meaning the issue will be revisited by the full court. The oral arguments are scheduled for December 17th.

Earlier this year in a surprise decision two of the judges on a three judge panel ruled that the Affordable Care Act subsidies could not go to individuals in states with federally-run exchanges. The two judges claimed that Congress intended for subsidies to go only to states which established their own exchange even though there is no indication in the Congressional record or in the CBO analysis that this was their intent. If that ruling went into effect it would impact millions of individuals.

The full court, which is more Democratic leaning than the three judge panel, is expected to rule in favor of allowing the subsidies to continue to go to Americans in all fifty states.

That should reduce the likelihood of the case making it to the Supreme Court, but if the Supreme Court wants to it can always intervene regardless what the lower court decides.

Photo by Adam Fagen under Creative Commons license