The DC Circuit judges suspended their ruling pending an appeal by the administration.
Administration officials said they would appeal to the full circuit court, a process that could take up to six months, and stressed the ruling would have no impact on consumers receiving monthly subsidies now.
Hours later, a three-judge panel of the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia ruled unanimously to uphold the same provision in the case of King v Burwell, saying the wordingofthelawwastooambiguous to restrict the availability of federal funds.
The appearance of a split between separate circuit courts over the question of Obamacare subsidies could increase the chance of Supreme Court intervention. But legal experts and some Republicans on Capitol Hill said the full DC Circuit court, dominated by appointees of Democratic presidents, was