Supreme Court upholds health care subsides under the Affordable Care Act

In a major Supreme Court decision, the high court issued a ruling Thursday in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) case-King v. Burwell. The Supreme Court decided with a vote of 6-3 in favor to uphold Obamacare and stated that insurance subsidies can go to residents of any state, whether they use a state or federal exchange.

The Court sided with the Obama administration that argued the ACA allows tax credits for individuals purchasing insurance through the health care exchanges, whether it was state run or the federal exchange.

Plaintiffs had argued that because of wording in the law that only individuals purchasing insurance through state-based exchanges were legally entitled to the tax credits. If the Court had ruled with the plaintiffs, individuals who receive subsidies through the federal exchange would have lost them. When the law went into effect, 34 states deferred to the federal exchange while 17 states, including Kentucky, created their own state-based exchange.

People purchasing insurance in these states would have been able to keep their subsidies, regardless of the outcome of the case. Many argued that if the 34 states had lost their subsidies, up to 8 million people would have lost their subsidies and insurance plans in these states would have seen their costs skyrocket.

Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear created the state-based health care exchange, Kynect, by Executive Order in 2012.

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