President Barack Obama’s legacy healthcare law has been backed by the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday, when it rejected a conservative legal challenge. Obama has said this is proof Obamacare is working and the law is “here to stay.”
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, a law that was passed by Democrats in Congress in 2010 and opposed by every Republican ever since, was challenged with a Supreme Court case on the basis of four words that say that subsidies will be available to Americans buying insurance on exchanges “established by the state”. The plaintiffs in the case King v. Burwell stated that the Obama’s administration has wrongly interpreted the law allowing subsidies nationwide. According to Reuters the case that started as a long shot, has been sponsored by a libertarian Washington group Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has gathered four people to act as plaintiffs, one of them being David King, a self-employed limousine driver. He stated that he was disappointed and that the law “unfairly restricts the health insurance choices of millions of people, and it threatens their jobs as well.”
However, the 6-3 ruling had votes of four liberal Justices and two conservatives, including Justices Anthony Kennedy and John Roberts. According to Reuters, John Roberts wrote the Court’s opinion that Congress has indeed intended nationwide availability of tax subsidies for families with low and moderate income to get private health insurance. He wrote “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve the health insurance markets, not to destroy them and that nationwide availability of the credits is required to avoid the type of calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”
Barack Obama has made a statement at the White House Rose Garden after the Supreme Court ruled on the case and according to Reuters he stated that many Americans are able to get health insurance because of Obamacare and without it they could not. He said “After more than 50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law, after a presidential election based in part on preserving or repealing this law, after multiple challenges to this law before the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.” He also added that the law is “woven into the fabric of America.”
Once the law was passed in 2010, 16.4 million people have gained access to nationwide health insurance. At the moment there are still 26 million Americans without health insurance and if the challenge to the Supreme Court was ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, 6.4 million Americans would have lost their right to subsidies of $272 per month.
After the Supreme Court ruling, Congressional Republicans have vowed to stand their ground and find new ways to attack the health care law and repeal it, even with appeals from Democrats and Americans throughout the nation to allow health care be a universal right. Even with this kind of Republican efforts of including such rhetoric in their Presidential campaigns, Barack Obama is sure that Obamacare will stay put and will become a lasing component of America’s social programs.