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Appeals court strikes down key part of Obamacare program

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(Photo: MGN Online)

(Photo: MGN Online)

WASHINGTON — In a dramatic blow to a key Obamacare program, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that individuals cannot use tax credits or subsidies to buy health insurance on federally run exchanges.

The divided three-judge panel said those cost-sharing subsidies can be used only through state-run health exchanges, not the federal exchanges.

The court’s decision could make it harder to ensure affordable coverage for millions in the 34 states that have chosen not to set up their own regulated health insurance marketplaces.

The administration is expected to appeal the ruling.