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Dueling decisions put subsidies in limbo
CINCINNATI (Paula Toti) -- As a sculptor, Stephanie Cooper was used to buying her own health insurance.
She said the subsidies she got under the Affordable Care Act were so important with rising health care costs.
If they go away, "I'm not going to be able to afford it," Cooper said.
When Cooper spoke with Local 12, she really didn't think it would come to that.
"I think it's going to be scary but I don't think they'll get away with it," said Cooper, meaning those challenging Obamacare.
Attorney Liz Pearson, a teacher of health care law, wasn't so sure people getting subsidies weren't going to be affected by two contradictory court decisions.
"Oh you should be worried, absolutely should be worried. You absolutely should be," Pearson warned.
Pearson said the issue has to be resolved. The government was already appealing to the D.C. circuit court to take up the issue again with a full panel of judges. They hope for a different outcome to keep the way clear for subsidies for people like Cooper. If the court didn't take up the issue the Supreme Court probably would, but when was unclear. Finally, another ruling in D.C. could simply go against subsidies.
Local 12 viewer, Terry, wrote and said without the more than $1,800 a year he gets in subsidies he would have to shop for a different plan and worries about lawsuits. Could Cooper and others be asked to give money back?
Liz Pearson believed if a person currently got a subsidy they would keep getting one until the issue was resolved. She felt this was one of the most vulnerable areas to attack under the Affordable Care Act and that was what happened.
Only 14 states have set up their own exchanges. That means most of the country is facing uncertainty along with Ohio and Indiana.
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