By a 6-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) recently upheld the availability of federal tax credits in all health insurance exchanges created under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In writing for the majority in the case of King v. Burwell, Chief Justice John Roberts reasoned that the overall context of the law made it clear that Congress intended for tax credits to be available under both federal and state exchanges, despite some language in the ACA that appeared to allow only state exchanges to offer tax credits.
Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Justices Alito and Thomas, wrote a scathing dissent, ridiculing what he termed “somersaults of statutory interpretation" in order to allow tax credits in states using the federal health exchange.
Scalia further noted the ACA should now be called “SCOTUScare” rather than Obamacare because the court had rewritten so much of the law.
Several legal challenges to portions of the ACA remain, but the recent decision probably settles the challenge that would have gutted one of the key components of the ACA.