CBS, NBC Ignore Conflicting Court Rulings On Future Of ObamaCare Subsidies

On Tuesday, July 22, two federal appeals courts ruled in different directions over the constitutionality of tax subsidies given to individuals who purchase health insurance through the federal ObamaCare exchange. At issue, was language in the law where subsidies would be given to individuals who purchased health insurance in an exchange “established by the state.”

In a 2-1 ruling, the D.C. Court of Appeals ruled that the IRS went too far by providing subsidies to individuals on the federal exchange but a separate ruling by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld those same subsidies. Despite the contradictory rulings and the likelihood that the Supreme Court will take up the case, ABC was the only network evening news show to cover the story on Tuesday night. [See video below.] 

In a quick 33 second news brief, World News anchor Diane Sawyer highlighted the mixed day for ObamaCare:

And now we go to Washington, D.C., and a trampoline of a day for ObamaCare in court. One court, a federal appeals court ruled that only Americans in states with their own exchanges for insurance can get financial subsidies. And that decision could cause premiums to spike for more than four and a half million people in 36 states. But hours later, a second appeals court issued the opposite ruling, saying ObamaCare can proceed as planned. So, there's a good chance now ObamaCare will again, wind up at the Supreme Court. 

Rather than cover the ObamaCare rulings , both NBC Nightly News and the CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley found time to gush over Prince George’s first birthday. Anchor Scott Pelley hyped how “great-grandma, the queen, sent money. Or at least she had some made. The Royal Mint produced two limited edition coins to mark George’s birthday.” 

Nightly News anchor Brian Williams swooned at how “it’s been a year since the eyes of the world were focused on that front door of a hospital in London, waiting for word about the birth of the heir to the throne. The boy we now know as George arrived and what a year it’s been for the future king, and the royal family for that matter.” 

See relevant transcript below. 


ABC

ABC World News with Diane Sawyer

July 22, 2014 

DIANE SAWYER: And now we go to Washington, D.C., and a trampoline of a day for ObamaCare in court. One court, a federal appeals court ruled that only Americans in states with their own exchanges for insurance can get financial subsidies. And that decision could cause premiums to spike for more than four and a half million people in 36 states. But hours later, a second appeals court issued the opposite ruling, saying ObamaCare can proceed as planned. So, there's a good chance now ObamaCare will again, wind up at the Supreme Court. 

Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer
Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center.