Massachusetts health officials: Federal appeals court rulings only reinforcing commitment

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BOSTON — Massachusetts health officials say a pair of seemingly contradictory federal appeals court rulings on a key element of President Barack Obama's health care law is reinforcing their commitment to remain a state-based marketplace.

One ruling questioned subsidies that help millions of low- and middle-income people afford their premiums, concluding financial aid can be provided only in states that have their own insurance markets, or exchanges.

The second ruling found the Internal Revenue Service correctly issued regulations allowing health insurance tax credits for consumers in all 50 states.

A Massachusetts Health Connector spokesman said the agency is reviewing the decisions announced Tuesday, but will continue a dual-track approach that calls for buying software to help overhaul its troubled website while laying the groundwork for a switch to the federal health insurance market if necessary.

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