Sunday, May 19, 2024

Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Subsidies

Obama Press Conference

The Supreme Court today ruled in a 6-3 decision that the federal subsidies used to purchase health coverage received by 6.4 million Americans under the federally-run health exchanges in 34 states are valid under the Affordable Care Act otherwise known as Obamacare. The case, which saw Chief Justice John Roberts again serve as the linchpin of the ruling, provides a win to the Obama Administration which argued that the 2010 law and Congress’ intent was for the subsidies to be available to everyone despite the actions of state leaders who opted out of setting up their own marketplaces.

In a statement from The White House, President Barack Obama said that “five years ago, after nearly a century of talk, decades of trying, a year of bipartisan debate, we finally declared that in America, health care is not a privilege for a few but a right for all.”

The Court, rather than focusing on the phrase “established by the state” in evaluating the validity of the subsidies in the federally-run health exchanges as opponents had insisted, instead cited the context and structure as well as the law’s intent in determining the outcome of Thursday’s ruling. Joining Chief Justice Roberts in the majority opinion were Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer and Sonya Sotomayor with justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissenting.

Roberts, reading the Opinion from the bench stated that “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

Following the Court’s ruling, Democratic presidential frontrunner former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted, “Yes!” Adding, “SCOTUS affirms what we know is true in our hearts & under the law: Health insurance should be affordable & available to all.”