Supreme Court Rejects Obamacare Lawsuit
The latest and possibly the last serious effort to cripple Obamacare through the courts has failed.
For the second time in three years, the Supreme Court rejected a major lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act -- thereby preserving the largest expansion in health coverage since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid half a century ago.
The stakes of the case, King v. Burwell, were enormous. Had the plaintiffs prevailed, millions of people who depend upon the Affordable Care Act for insurance would have lost financial assistance from the federal government.
Without that money, most of them would have had to give up coverage altogether. And the loss of so many customers would have forced insurers to raise premiums, seriously disrupting state insurance markets.
But two of the court’s conservatives, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy, joined the court’s four liberals in rejecting the lawsuit in a 6-3 decision. Roberts delivered the opinion for the majority. And the decision was a concise, stinging rebuke of the plaintiffs, who contended that Congress intended to write a law that would leave so many people without coverage, and cause such disarray.
"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not destroy them," Roberts wrote.
The decision is a major defeat for conservatives, who have been trying to wipe Obamacare off the books ever since its enactment in 2010. The sweeping health care reform law, a key component of President Barack Obama’s legacy, now appears to be secure at least through the 2016 elections.
By Johnathan Cohn and Jeffrey Young
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