(Bloomberg) — The full U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington will rehear a case on Obamacare tax subsidies, a move that may reduce the chances of a new Supreme Court showdown over a central element of the Affordable Care Act.

A rehearing sets up the possibility that the full court will reverse the ruling of a three-judge panel, nullifying a decision that conflicts with a ruling by another appeals court, in Richmond, Va.

See related story: Employers won't feel immediate sting from federal court ACA subsidy ruling

See related story: Subsidy ruling could further delay employer mandate

Eliminating the split with the Richmond court would reduce, though not eliminate the chances of the Supreme Court taking the case. Divisions between appeals courts are among the factors the Supreme Court considers when deciding whether to hear a case.

In a short order today, the appeals court set aside the ruling, and scheduled new arguments for Dec. 17. 


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