Initially, petitioners challenged the wording of the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare. When legislators drafted what would become a law in 2010, they modeled it after the Massachusetts healthcare system. Reforms made by Obamacare include required insurance coverage, tax subsidies to lessen the cost, and affordable insurance regardless of current health as well as the creation of federal and state exchanges for patients to find coverage.
The reforms are dependent on each other such that a patient must be enrolled in a marketplace insurance plan to receive the tax benefits. King v. Burwell petitioners argued that the language of the act suggests only a state marketplace plan can lead to tax credits. However the Internal Revenue Service believed otherwise. The exact words of Obamacare read, “an Exchange established by the State under [42 U. S. C. §18031],” but the lawsuit lead to a debate on what exactly “State” meant.
The court’s opinion today (June 25) ruled in favor of the IRS definition of “State” in the act and allowed tax credits to those living in the 34 states with federal exchanges.
SCOTUS holds individuals who get their health insurance through exchange established by federal gov will be eligible for tax subsidies.
— SCOTUSblog (@SCOTUSblog) June 25, 2015
President Barack Obama had his own words of celebration for the day’s win. “Today’s decision is a victory for every hardworking American. Access to quality, affordable health care is a right, not a privilege,” he said.
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