In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court upheld a critical part of the Affordable Care Act that the President signed into law five years ago. Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the court’s left wing to form the majority opinion. Justice Scalia, penned the dissenting opinion for himself and Justices Alito and Thomas.
President Barack Obama hugs Kristie Canegallo, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Vice President Joe Biden hugs Chief of Staff Denis McDonough as they celebrate the Supreme Court ruling on Affordable Care Act subsidies in the Oval Office, June 25, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Chief Justice Roberts faced off against Justice Scalia, using the latters own words to bolster the majority opinion, “it is implausible that congress meant the Act to operate in this matter. See National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. (2012) (Scalia, Kennedy, thomas, and Alito, JJ, dissenting)… (“Without the federal susidies… the exchanges would not operate as Congress intended and may not operate at all.”)”.
The ruling allows 6.4 million residents of federally facilitated exchange states to continue to receiving ACA premium tax credits. It also represents a major win for the Obama administration. The White House website reports,
“On March 23, 2010, I sat down at a table in the East Room of the White House and signed my name on a law that said, once and for all, that health care would no longer be a privilege for a few. It would be a right for everyone.
Five years later, after more than 50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law and multiple challenges before the Supreme Court, here is what we know today:
This law worked. It’s still working. It has changed and saved American lives. It has set this country on a smarter, stronger course.
And it’s here to stay.”
Reaction was quick,
But opposition remains undeterred.
“@MatureAmericans: House Passes Bill to Repeal ObamaCare Death Panel http://t.co/6jEz75beEK” — R J Kelley K5RJK (@RJKelley1) June 26, 2015