BREAKING NEWS: Supreme Court rules on Obamacare

Posted on June 25, 2015 by - Services

The Supreme Court has voted to uphold the Affordable Care Act, ruling that the federal tax subsidies required by the act are legal, reports The Associated Press. In a 6-3 decision in King v. Burwell, the justices ruled that residents in states that did not create their own health insurance exchange can legally receive federal help on premium payments. “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion. “If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.” The ruling is considered a major victory for President Obama, as a ruling against the government would have largely dismantled the economics behind the system. “If the Court rules against the government and many people are no longer receiving subsidies, the result may be that a significant number of people may not have coverage because insurance will be unaffordable. Only people who are sickest will go onto the exchange,” Robert Projansky, a partner with Proskauer and leader of the firm’s healthcare reform task force, said in an interview earlier this week. “If that comes to pass, you have a situation where insurance companies are required to cover bad risks and won’t have healthy people to offset them. “That could have a significant impact on the broader industry, insurers in particular.” Writing for the majority, Roberts noted that this is exactly the “type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.” Roberts was joined by fellow conservative justice Anthony Kennedy in ruling with the court’s more liberal members to hand the victory to the president.
Judge Antonin Scalia, meanwhile, made a relatively rare move by reading a summary of the dissenting opinion from the bench. “We really should start calling the law SCOTUScare,” he quipped, adding that “it is hard to come up with a reason to use these words other than the purpose of limiting credits to state exchanges.” The decision means subsidies will remain in the 34 states that use the exchange run by the federal government, including 6.4 million people. Most people receive an average subsidy of $272 per month.

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