WASHINGTON — In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court saved the controversial health care law that will define President Barack Obama’s administration for generations to come. Democrats in both chambers were more than happy to gloat over the Supreme Court’s decision on King v. Burwell, which maintained that states that do not get their Obamacare subsidies through a state-managed exchange are still eligible for federal subsidies through the act.
The ruling holds that the Affordable Care Act authorized federal tax credits for eligible Americans living not only in states with their own exchanges but also in the 34 states with federal marketplaces. It staved off a major political showdown and a mad scramble in states that would have needed to act to prevent millions from losing health care coverage.
“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,” Obama said from the White House. “The Affordable Care Act is here to stay”
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer called the court decision a “win” for Americans saying, “Not withstanding all of their actions to repeal they have never come up with a workable alternative. So the Supreme Court served America today, and I congratulate them today for that.”
Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp told reporters the ACA debate is not going away as he made a push for his party to use reconciliation as a tactic to repeal the law.
“We understand if the president wanted to negotiate, but when we’re talking about these massive premium increases, folks are just beginning to understand. This is the preparation for 2017,” he said.
House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions told reporters he was disappointed with the court’s decision but that it was important not to “second guess these guys.”
“They heard the case. I didn’t, but the facts of the case are real simple. We still have a health care bill, which limits the amount of work that a person can have. It limits employers with their ability to provide their own product and we have millions of people who are without healthcare because of the ACA,” he said.