(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.