Supreme Court defends Obamacare for the second time
In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court saved President Obama’s healthcare law on Thursday. This is the second time Chief Justice John Robert’s court defended Obamacare. The justices ruled that federal subsidies can be offered in both state and federal health care exchanges, or marketplaces, putting the landmark 2010 statute on solid legal footing for the immediate future and handing the law’s opponents a sound defeat. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the dissenters jokingly said Americans should start calling the law SCOTUScare.
More than six million lower-income Americans who get their health insurance through the federal marketplace or exchange — HealthCare.Gov — depend on the subsidies, reducing their premiums an average of 72 percent, saving an average of $270 a month. Opponents of the law claimed that the actual wording of the Affordable Care Act passed by Congress made subsidies available only to insurance customers who bought their policies through “an exchange established by the state” where the policyholders live. If the opposition prevailed, customers who purchased their insurance on the federal exchange, the majority of those insured by Obamacare would have lost the subsidies. Only 16 states have their own health exchanges up and running. Health industry experts warned that if the challenge succeeded the Affordable Care Act would enter a “death spiral leading costs to rise for a number of participants, eventually leading to the system to collapse.