Obamacare Victory

   < < Go Back
from MSNBC,

In a major victory for the Obama administration, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the 6.4 million people who receive health insurance through the federal government’s exchange are still legally eligible for tax subsidies to help pay for the insurance, in effect saving the law. Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for the four Democratic-appointed justices and Justice Anthony Kennedy, saying the Obama administration’s interpretation of the Affordable Care Act was lawful, in a 6-3 ruling.

President Barack Obama staked his legacy on a law that has already insured an additional 16.5 million people in only five years. For the second time in three years, the Supreme Court legitimized the Affordable Care Act. It ensured the stability of the law for the time being and thwarted the dearest wishes of its opponents. King v. Burwell, the case decided today, concerned one of the most important portions of the law, the financial assistance that made it possible for millions of Americans to purchase a plan on the individual insurance market. The court rejected the challenger’s views on grounds that accepted the administration’s reasoning.

The decision may help neutralize the law as a political issue in the 2016 election, particularly for Republicans who might have faced blame if the law went into a “death spiral.” Many Republicans are still vowing to repeal the law.

Shortly after the ruling came down, Obama declared that his signature health care law is “here to stay.”

“The point is, this is not an abstract thing anymore,” Obama said from the White House’s Rose Garden. “This is not a set of political talking points. This is reality. We can see how it is working. This law is working exactly as its supposed to. In many ways, this law is working better than we expected it to.”

In total, 6.4 million people would have faced skyrocketing premiums if the Supreme Court had ruled that four words in the text of the law made federal financial aid illegal. Thirty-four states chose not to set up exchanges, for logistical or political reasons.

The case originated at a conference hosted by the conservative American Enterprise Institute in 2010. The leading lights of the right gathered to figure out how to undermine the recently passed Affordable Care Act.

More From MSNBC: