A federal judge on Wednesday rejected a conservative challenge to health insurance subsidies available to people in the 34 U.S. states that declined to establish their own online marketplaces under President Barack Obama's healthcare law.
The suit, brought by individuals and businesses from Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia, asserted that the wording of the 2010 law allowed subsidies to help people obtain insurance only in exchanges established by states, not those set up by the federal government.
In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman wrote that Congress clearly intended to make the subsidies available nationwide under the new law.
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"There is evidence throughout the statute of Congress's desire to ensure broad access to affordable health coverage," the judge wrote.