Archive for Robin Blakely

Obamacare Hit By Ruling, But Subsidies To Continue


WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama’s health care law is enmeshed in another big legal battle after two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday.
A divided court panel in Washington called into question the subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people pay their premiums, saying financial aid can be paid only in states that have set up their own insurance markets, or exchanges.
About 100 miles to the south in Richmond, Virginia, another appeals court panel unanimously came to the opposite conclusion, ruling that the Internal Revenue Service correctly interpreted the will of Congress when it issued regulations allowing consumers in all 50 states to purchase subsidized coverage.
The White House immediately declared that policyholders will keep getting financial aid as the administration sorts out the legal implications.
Spokesman Josh Earnest said the adverse decision in Washington would have “no practical impact” on tax credits as the case works its way through the courts.
Both cases are part of a long-running political and legal campaign to overturn Obama’s signature domestic legislation by Republicans and other opponents of the law.
In the Washington case, a group of small business owners argued that the law authorizes subsidies only for people who buy insurance through markets established by the states — not by the federal government.
That’s no mere legal distinction, since the federal government is running the markets, or exchanges, in 36 states.
A divided court agreed with that objection, in a 2-1 decision that could mean premium increases for more than half the 8 million Americans who have purchased taxpayer-subsidized private insurance under the law.
Two judges appointed by Republican presidents voted against the administration’s interpretation of the law while one appointed by a Democratic president dissented.
The Obama spokesman said the administration would seek a hearing by the full 11-judge court. The full court has seven judges appointed by Democratic presidents, including four appointed by Obama.


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District: ‘We Want Provisional Status’; State Board Says, ‘Not So Fast’


By Tracy Allen
CALL Staff Writer
It has been an ongoing battle for two years now since the Kansas City, Mo., Public Schools learned that it would be unaccredited. When will it regain at least provisional accreditation?
That has been the struggle that KCPS administrators have endured since the 17,000 student district became unaccredited in January 2012. But according to the Missouri State Board of Education, the District’s desire to become at least provisionally accredited for the upcoming school year beginnning August 11, won’t be anytime soon.
The State Board issued a statement Tuesday saying that while there has been improvement within the KCPS, the need to grant immediate provisional accreditation is still a ways off. What KCPS administrators now must hope for is that the returning student enrollment doesn’t take a greater hit as students are now given a chance to transfer to neighborhing schools, although the KCPS will be on the hook for possible transportation fees.
The State Board of Education chose not to make a decision on the KCPS accreditation status because in its statement,


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