The intellectual godfather of a serious court challenge to Obamacare says that if the effort continues to be successful tens of millions of people would be "free" from the law's individual and employer mandates.
Leading critic of the act, Michael Cannon, revealed that eye-popping number Monday, ahead of Tuesday's potentially crippling blow to the health-care reform law.
In Tuesday's 2-1 ruling, a judicial panel said subsidies to buy health insurance coverage can only be granted to people who purchased insurance on an Obamacare exchange run by an individual state or the District of Columbia—not on the federally run exchange.
Tuesday's ruling does not have an immediate effect on the law. The Obama administration is likely to appeal the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals panel to the full appellate court.
According to Cannon, if the decision is upheld, more than 250,000 firms in those states, which have about 57 million workers, would not be subject to the employer mandate being phased in starting next year. That rule, which hinges on the availability of subsidies on Obamacare exchanges, will compel employers with 50 or more full-time workers to offer affordable health insurance or pay a fine.
And a total of about 8.3 million individuals will be removed from the rule that they have health insurance or pay a fine equal to as much as 1 percent of their taxable income, Cannon said. He added that the number could be a conservative estimate.
The number includes people who were previously uninsured before the exchanges opened last fall and whose options for insurance on the exchanges would not be considered affordable under the law without subsidy assistance.