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Appeals court in Va. upholds health care subsidies

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court in Virginia has upheld tax subsidies for low- and middle-income people who buy insurance under the Obama administration's health care reform law. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday unanimously rejected a claim that the law provides the subsidies only to people who buy policies through state-run exchanges. The court backed an Internal Revenue Service regulation that makes the subsidies available regardless of whether policies are purchased through state exchanges or one established by the federal government. Thirty-six states are served by the federal insurance marketplace. The decision conflicts with another one issued Tuesday by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court ruled 2-1 that the subsidies are available only through state exchanges.

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