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Health insurance: Clear as mud

The Economist, July 25, 2014

Nancy Pelosi, a former Democratic Speaker of the House, once said that "we have to pass [Obamacare] so that you can find out what is in it." It turns out she was wrong. The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. But four in ten Americans still say they don't understand how it will affect them. And judges can't figure out what it means, either. On July 22nd two appeals courts offered utterly contradictory interpretations. In Halbig v Burwell, a three-judge panel in Washington, DC ruled that Obamacare does not empower the government to offer subsidies to Americans who buy health insurance through federal exchanges. A couple of hours later, a panel in Virginia took the opposite view.