*1/23/14 update: The D.C. Circuit has granted our motion for an expedited appeal.
Washington, DC, Jan. 17, 2014 – In the wake of a Wednesday court decision upholding the IRS Obamacare mandate, the plaintiffs in Halbig v. Sebelius filed for an expedited appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.
“As this motion for a speedy appeal makes clear, there are compelling reasons for the appeals court act to quickly, because people are making their health insurance plans and billions of taxpayer dollars are now being spent each month in insurance subsidies for policies purchased through federal exchanges,” said CEI General Counsel Sam Kazman. “This massive expenditure runs counter to what the district court itself admitted was ‘the plain meaning’ of the key provision in the Obamacare statute. And just as that court accelerated its handling of the case, the appeals court should similarly expedite this appeal.”
At issue in this case is the IRS regulation extending the law’s premium subsidies and employer mandate to “refusenik” states—the 36 states that decided not to set up their own insurance exchanges. In Wednesday’s ruling, Federal District Court Judge Paul Friedman rejected the plaintiffs’ argument but acknowledged it was supported by a key section in the statute and the plaintiffs’ position was “the more intuitive” position. Judge Friedman based much of his reasoning on he viewed as Congress’s broad goal of reducing health insurance costs—an approach the plaintiffs argue cannot override the language of the statute.
Michael A. Carvin of Jones Day is lead counsel in the case. The Competitive Enterprise Institute is assisting in the lawsuit’s coordination and funding.
> View the Motion to Expedite the appeal.
> For more information about Halbig v. Sebelius, visit www.cei.org/obamacare.