Continued from page 1

“Everyone assumed that the states would take the deal,” Mr. Carvin said.

Mr. McElvain ticked off a litany of interlocking parts of the law and agency functions that he said would make little sense unless Congress meant all eligible Americans who get insurance through the exchanges could get subsidies.

Mr. Carvin acknowledged both sides were attempting to “psychoanalyze” Congress.

“Always a difficult job,” Judge Friedman said.

The judge gave no clear indication of when he would rule, but attorneys said they expected a decision by the end of the year.