On Thursday the Supreme Court made their long-awaited ruling on the nationwide tax subsidies that were the foundation of Obama’s overhaul of the health care system. The ruling rejected a contentious challenge to the health care law and protects health care rights for million of Americans.
The Supreme Court Justices ruled that the subsidies received by 8.7 million people do not depend on where they live. Opponents of the law were defeated in a 6-3 vote in favor of Obamacare’s subsidy protections.
This ruling was the second victory for Obama on Thursday. The other court ruling preserved a key tool the administration uses to police housing bias.
Opponents, led by House Speaker John Boehner (R-Oh), said they were not swayed by the ruling and would continue to fight to repeal the law.
Chief Justice John Roberts sees things a different way.
“‘Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,’ Roberts declared in the majority opinion.”
The dissenters include Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and Clarence Thomas. Scalia asserts that the upholding of the law proves that the Supreme Court unfairly favors certain laws over others. He went on to say the Supreme Court “is prepared to do whatever it takes to uphold and assist its favorites.”
The ruling also led to a collective sigh of relief from the health care industry. They claim it will help stabilize the market for consumers. The ruling also helped increase the stock prices of hospital operating companies, HCA Holdings Inc. and Tenet Healthcare Corp., that were fearing a dramatic influx of uninsured if the subsidies were cut.
“The challenge devised by die-hard opponents of the law relied on four words – ‘established by the state’ – in the more than 900-page law.”
Their basic argument was that the language meant the federal subsidies should not extend to insurance seekers if their state did not also offer subsidies as well. If they would have won 6.4 million people would have lost the aid they were previously receiving.
The administration, congressional Democrats, 22 states, and now a majority of the Supreme Court disagreed with the opponents saying those four words did not invalidate the spirit of the law. In fact, several pages of the law say subsidies would extend to Americans no matter where they live.
With this being the second defeat of ACA opponents, it seems the Supreme Court believes in health care for all.[AP]