Experts had warned that a finding in favor of the plaintiffs would eviscerate the healthcare law
Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan were in the majority that upheld Obamacare. (Photo: Mark Fischer/flickr/cc)
Handing a victory for President Barack Obama and the Affordable Care Act—as well as millions of people who gained more affordable healthcare under the law—the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that individuals who get their health insurance through an exchange established by the federal government will continue to be eligible for tax subsidies.
The "ALEC-fueled" case, King v. Burwell, dealt with whether the Affordable Care Act provides subsidies to everyone in the country who qualifies for them on the basis of income level, regardless of whether they get their insurance through a state-run exchange or an exchange run by the federal government. Basing their argument on just four words buried in the massive legislation, the plaintiffs claimed that subsidies were supposed to be only for those purchasing health care through state-run health exchanges—not the federal one.
Experts warned that a finding in favor of the plaintiffs would eviscerate the healthcare law.
Affirming the decision of the Fourth Circuit, the justices voted 6-3 to uphold the subsidies. Chief Justice John Roberts, as well as Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan were in the majority.