(Bloomberg Politics) — The Supreme Court ended months of speculation Thursday when it rejected a potentially fatal challenge to Obamacare in King v. Burwell.
The 6-3 ruling featured Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Anthony Kennedy joining the four liberal-leaning justices to hold that the law’s insurance tax credits are available in all 50 states. The decision prevents some 6 million Americans from losing insurance subsidies that make their coverage more affordable.
At issue were a handful of words in the statute that the challengers said restrict the tax credits to states that set up their own insurance exchanges, rather than the three-dozen states that use the federal exchange. Three conservatives sided with that view, led by Justice Antonin Scalia in a characteristically sardonic dissent.
Here are the highlights:
1. Chief Justice Roberts sums up the ruling in 15 words.
2. But he also had a choice adjective for how Obamacare was drafted: “inartful.”
3. Roberts: context matters, and the plaintiffs didn’t get that.
4. Congress never wanted Obamacare to end in a “death spiral,” Roberts says.
5. In Justice Scalia’s dissent, he complained that the Court had rewritten the law too much with a sick burn.
6. The Supreme Court majority’s logic? Scalia compared it to baby food.
7. And viewing other parts of Obamacare as validating the White House’s interpretation of the law is…
8. Scalia concludes his fierce dissent by accusing the Supreme Court of doing something most associated with gymnasts.