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Affordable Care Act Antonin Scalia John G. Roberts Jr. U.S. Supreme Court

Upholds health care subsidies

Jun 2015

In a 6-3 ruling, justices uphold health care subsidies, based on their finding that critics’ reading of Obamacare might make sense in isolation, but not when viewed in a larger context and in light of the intention of the law. Americans who currently receive subsidies under the Affordable Care Act will continue to do so.  Chief Justice Roberts writes for the majority:

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.

He is joined by Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Kagan, Kennedy and Sotomayor. Justice Scalia presents the dissent, and is joined by Justices Alito and Thomas. Scalia calls the decision “wonderfully convenient,” complains about “interpretative jiggery-pokery” and argues it was not the Court’s job to make up for the sloppy drafting of the law by Congress, branding the law as “SCOTUScare”.