U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Affordable Care Act Subsidies

June 25, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld Affordable Care Act subsidies in federally-facilitated exchanges. By a vote of 6-3, the Supreme Court rejected the argument levelled by conservative activists that the ACA’s language of “established by a state” barred the federal government from subsidizing health insurance unless the plans were sold in a state-based exchange.

“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts. “If at all possible, we must interpret the act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter.”

Insureds in 34 states, including Wisconsin, with federal exchanges were at risk of losing their subsidies if the Supreme Court had accepted the argument that the subsidies only applied in state-run exchanges.

This is likely not the last word on the ACA. It is likely to be a topic in Congress as well as during the next Presidential election.