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Employers who joined the lawsuit said the subsidies expose them to the law’s “employer mandate,” which in the coming years will force large employers to offer health coverage or pay fines. The mandate is triggered when at least one employee takes advantage of tax credits on the Obamacare exchanges.

Another one of the plaintiffs, a West Virginia man, said he qualified for a hardship exemption from the individual mandate because he didn’t make enough money to afford coverage under the law’s definitions. But the tax credit in his state bumped him into an affordable range, forcing him to acquire coverage he doesn’t want.

The appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments on the case March 25. On the same day, the Supreme Court will take up a high-profile challenge to the Obama administration’s “contraception mandate,” an outgrowth of the health care law requiring employers to insure birth control as part of their company health plans.