SCOTUS rejects statutory challenge to Affordable Care Act

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) today rejected by a vote of 6-3 a statutory challenge to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Chief Justice Roberts, who previously cast the deciding vote upholding the constitutionality of the ACA, wrote today’s opinion rejecting the statutory challenge. He was joined by Kennedy, Kagan, Breyer, Sotomayor and Ginsberg. Scalia, Thomas and Alito dissented.

The statutory challenge was based on the following four words buried on page 95 of a 960 page statute that authorized federal subsidies to pay for insurance plans: “established by state exchanges.” 34 states opted out of establishing state exchanges. In King v. Burwell, opponents to Obamacare argued that federal subsidies were not available to defray the cost of insurance in those 34 states, given those four unambiguous words.

Chief Justice Roberts reasoned that a literal interpretation of those four words would emasculate the ACA because it would result in 6.8 million people losing their health insurance because they could not afford it without the subsidies. Since the purpose of the ACA was to provide insurance, rather than to deny it, he decided the four words were ambiguous and upheld the statute.

Justice Roberts’s decision makes perfect sense.

Purists might disagree, but the remedy for a contrary decision favored by the minority, would have required Congress to amend the statute so that the 6.8 million people who lost their insurance would be able to get it back. That was not going to happen with Republicans holding majorities in both houses of Congress

The SCOTUS also upheld the Fair Housing Act prohibiting “disguised animus” resulting in disparate impact discrimination practices, regardless whether they were intended.

Good and somewhat unexpected results today.

3 Responses to SCOTUS rejects statutory challenge to Affordable Care Act

  1. roderick2012 says:

    Ex-Baltimore Police Officer Rails Against His Department’s Many Wrongdoings

    Following the suspicious death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, Baltimore erupted into a city of peaceful protest turned violent riots, in which demonstrators clashed with police officers on national television. Six officers were eventually indicted. Yet even if anything comes of these charges, many point to the lack of desired results in the court hearings following the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

    Enter Michael A. Wood Jr., a former Baltimore police officer and member of the United States Marine Corps who’s been calling out the BPD for some time now. In a candid three-hour radio interview back in may, Wood detailed the department’s many failings — including poor management at all levels and entrenched corruption. At one point, Wood concludes that “BPD started the Baltimore riots.”

    Yet nothing ever really came of the PhD candidate’s interview and statements — until now. That’s because Wood took to Twitter on Wednesday with a special announcement:

  2. Malisha says:

    The Repugnicans are heaving a sigh of relief while they pretend to be all affluffle at this apostasy. Just imagine, ordinary Americans without much money still being able to see a doctor! All because of a Black Communist dictator who took over because of a fraudulent vote!

  3. Fingers crossed for more unexpected results as people push for their own best interests instead of the best interests of the corporatocracy.

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