Republican leaders hailed the federal appeals court ruling curbing Obamacare subsidies, saying that it proves President Barack Obama’s healthcare law is "unworkable" and "cannot be fixed."
"The D.C. Circuit’s decision today in Halbig v. Burwell is a repudiation of Obamacare and all the lawlessness that has come with it," Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, said in a statement.
"This decision restores power to Congress and to the people and if properly enforced, should shield citizens from Obamacare’s insidious penalties, mandates, and subsidies," he said.
The D.C. Circuit court
ruled that the federal government cannot give financial assistance to individuals in 36 states who buy healthcare coverage on the federal insurance exchange. The subsidies would only be available to people in states that set up new insurance exchanges.
The decision would mean that millions of Americans who enrolled in HealthCare.gov would lose their subsidies
, resulting in prohibitive premium costs that could lead to an Obamacare "death spiral."
House Speaker John Boehner said the decision shows that the Affordable Care Act should be repealed and replaced.
"Today’s ruling is also further proof that President Obama’s health care law is completely unworkable. It cannot be fixed," he said, according to Politico
. Republicans "remain committed to repealing the law and replacing it."
Sen. Orrin Hatch, the ranking member on the Senate Finance Committee, accused the government of violating the law by giving health insurance subsidies to millions of people through the federal exchange.
"The plain text of Obamacare authorizes subsidies only through state exchanges, not the federal exchange," the Utah Republican said in a statement
. "As it has on so many occasions, the Obama administration simply ignored the law and implemented its own policy instead."
The Senate Republican Conference also praised the ruling in a tweet
, while saying Obamacare "is a fundamentally flawed law that continues to unravel with each passing day."
The 2-1 decision may be reviewed by the full D.C. Circuit court of 11 judges, or the government could appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.
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