The Court's King v. Burwell decision should cement President Obama’s signature legislative achievement, as a durable part of the American social safety net. Amy Howe from SCOTUSBlog explained:
By siding with the Obama administration, the Court effectively maintains the status quo, with the subsidies continuing to flow to low- and moderate-income Americans and, more generally, all three key provisions of the ACA remaining intact. Opponents of the ACA will have to re-focus their efforts to repeal the Act on retaining Republican control of Congress and retaking the White House from Democrats in 2016.
Thursday’s decision was second time in three years that the high court has ruled to preserve the Affordable Care Act in spite of the Republican opponents. That means the millions of Americans who qualify for subsidies will be able to continue receiving them whether they purchase through a state or federal exchange.
Lyle Denniston also of SCOTUSBlog noted that calamity may have been avoided:
Pumping new life into the Affordable Care Act in a way that, together with President Obama’s veto pen, will ensure that the law lasts at least another nineteen months, a divided Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that subsidies to help lower-income Americans buy health insurance will remain…. If the subsidies are not available across the nation, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., wrote for the majority, that would bring about “the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.
The decision closely tracked most of the arguments that the Obama administration had made in defending the nationwide availability of subsidies, in the form of tax credits. “‘Congress,’ the Chief Justice wrote, “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."
On the other hand, in now typical fashion, Justice Scalia's dissent had the best zinger, as he offered that: “We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.”
Dissenters aside, the Court's 6-3 majority moves Obamacare into a less precarious place. Business can now expect government healthcare exchanges to be around for long enough to make and execute plans with them included.
Originally posted on LinkedIn Pulse: Supreme Court Finally Gives Business Healthcare Certainty
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