In a 6-to-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court preserved subsidies for health insurance plans purchased through the federal exchange at healthcare.gov, delivering a major victory to President Obama on his signature legislative achievement, and leaving Republican critics fuming over their judicial defeat.
The court’s majority was again led by Chief Justice John Roberts, who had joined with liberals on the Court to uphold the law several years ago; they held that tax subsidies should not be limited only to state-based exchanges.
“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” the Chief Justice wrote.
“If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter,” Roberts wrote.
In a stinging dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia blasted the court’s majority for “somersaults of statutory interpretation,” arguing his colleagues have done everything possible to keep the Obama health law afloat.
“Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State,'” Scalia wrote, saying the majority opinion “rewrites the law to make tax credits available everywhere.”
You can read the entire Supreme Court ruling in the King v. Burwell case here.
Here is part of President Obama’s statement after the ruling: