Obamacare Upheld By U.S. Supreme Court
On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court disapproved a challenge to repeal President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.
The ruling in favor of Obamacare came after a 6-3 decision, allowing millions of Americans to afford health insurance.
Obama said from the White House, “Five years ago, after nearly a century of talk, decades of trying, a year of bipartisan debate, we finally declared that in America, health care is not a privilege for a few but a right for all. The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”
According to Reuters, the court ruled that the law does not say subsidies were bound to only those states that have set up their own online health insurance exchanges, which the opponents were claiming.
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion, “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”
With the latest decision, subsidies will be available nationwide. Had the ruling been in favor of the opponents, about 6.4 million people in at least 34 states would have lost an average of $272 worth of subsidies each month.
The challengers of the Affordable Care Act, disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against what was probably their last attempt to thwart the healthcare law, had contested the legality of the notion of Internal Revenue Service that customers of HealthCare.gov in 34 states under the Affordable Care Act will be granted tax credits.
According to CNBC, four Virginia residents and plaintiffs in the case, David King, Brenda Levy, Rose Luck and Douglas Hurst, said, “We are deeply disappointed with today’s Supreme Court decision because it hurts Americans like us in two ways.
“First, it threatens something that our democracy is based on: the rule of law. And second, it allows the IRS to keep offering nationwide subsidies even though the law passed by Congress says otherwise. That unfairly restricts the health insurance choices of millions of people, and threatens their jobs, as well.”
The ruling was criticized by Republican presidential candidates, as reported by CNN.
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said, “I disagree with the Court’s ruling and believe they have once again erred in trying to correct the mistakes made by President Obama and Congress in forcing Obamacare on the American people. I remain committed to repealing this bad law and replacing it with my consumer-centered plan that puts patients and families back in control of their health care decisions.”
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said he was “disappointed” by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision.
He said, “But this decision is not the end of the fight against Obamacare. As President of the United States, I would make fixing our broken health care system one of my top priorities.”
Hillary Clinton, however, praised the decision on Twitter.
Nina Owcharenko, director of health policy studies for The Heritage Foundation, a conservative group, said, “Despite the decision, the problems of Obamacare are real and not getting better. The law’s flawed foundation continues to make Obamacare unworkable, unaffordable and unpopular.”
Owcharenko referred to the rates of many Obamacare insurance plans that will be increased next year, saying, “The Supreme Court ruling does not fix Obamacare. The only fix to Obamacare is its repeal.”
Mary Kay Henry, international president of the Service Employees International Union, said, “In the last five years, extremist Republicans have tried and failed through two Supreme Court cases and 56 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and have no plan for replacement. Not one man or woman, grandparent or child, has gained health-care coverage from these efforts. It’s the very law that extremists are trying to do away with—Obamacare—that has increased access to care for millions.”
Although Republicans will continue their attempts in Congress to have the Obamacare rescinded, political analysts say that there is very little hope, if none, that the law will be repealed before Obama’s presidency finishes in January 2017.
The law has been “woven into the fabric of America,” Obama said.
“After more than 50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law, after a presidential election based in part on preserving or repealing this law, after multiple challenges to this law before the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay,” he added.
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