US Supreme Court backs Obamacare
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a conservative legal challenge that could have doomed President Barack Obama’s health care law, upholding nationwide tax subsidies crucial to his signature domestic policy achievement.
The court decided the law did not restrict the subsidies to states that establish their own online health insurance.
Obama strode into the White House Rose Garden after the ruling to declare that the law known as Obamacare is working, helping millions of Americans afford health insurance who otherwise would have none, and that it is “here to stay.”
Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative appointed by Republican President George W. Bush, wrote in the 6-3 ruling that Congress clearly intended for the tax subsidies that help millions of low- and moderate-income people afford private health insurance to be available in all 50 states.
“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Roberts wrote, adding that nationwide availability of the credits is required to “avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”
Roberts was joined by fellow conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy and the court’s four liberal members in a ruling that may ensure Obamacare becomes a lasting element of the nation’s social programs.
The ruling means the current system will remain in place, with subsidies available nationwide. If the challengers had won, at least 6.4 million people in at least 34 states would have lost subsidies worth an average of $272 per month.
Supporters of the Affordable Care Act celebrate.