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Expert: Arizonans on Obamacare shouldn’t panic

PHOENIX — It’s business as usual for the 120,000 Arizonans who purchased health care through the health insurance marketplace despite a court battle.

A federal appeals court rejected Tuesday insurance subsidies for coverage on federally-run insurance exchanges. The court ruled the tax subsidies can only be paid through state-run exchanges. Arizona doesn’t have one, thus meaning subsidies would have been lost.

However, another federal court later ruled in favor of the subsidies on the federally-run exchanges.

Communications Director Jon Ford of the St. Luke’s Health Initiative in Phoenix said Arizonans who signed up for Obamacare would have found themselves in a bind had the first ruling taken effect.

“You would have a significant pocket of people who are not covered by employer insurance and are not eligible for (Arizona’s) Medicaid program known as AHCCCS (Access),” said Ford. “They would be stuck in the middle, and wouldn’t be able to afford health coverage on their own.”

Ford had some advice for Arizonans signed up for Obamacare.

“Don’t panic,” he said. “This is a legal process. It will go through multiple appeals, and there will be some time before there is a final ruling on this, most likely at the level of the Supreme Court.”

Ford said that, as of right now, it’s business as usual, and the federal subsidies are still in effect.