June 25, 2015
WASHINGTON (CNS) — Writing that “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” a 6-3 majority of the Supreme Court June 25 upheld tax subsidies for participants in health care exchanges run by the federal government in states that refused to create them.
In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts disentangled what he said was “more than a few examples of inartful drafting” in how the 2010 law was written that contributed to the interpretation that federal subsidies for people with lower income should only be available to residents of states that created their own health care exchanges.
The subsidies were challenged by four residents of Virginia — which has a federal exchange — who don’t want to purchase health insurance and argued that the tax credits they would receive to do so are not what the law intended. Without the subsidies, their income level would allow them to be exempt from the requirement of the ACA to purchase insurance.