For the second time in three years, the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act is once again in the hands of the Supreme Court to interpret the legislation. The issue at hand is King v. Burwell, and is to decide whether or not low and moderate income Americans living in specific states should be allowed to receive tax subsidies in order to purchase health care insurance. What the side in favor of taking action is stating is that a straight reading of the legislation’s text means that the law states that credits are available only for those who buy insurance in marketplaces or exchanges which are established by the state.
If the court agrees with this statement, millions in 34 different states that didn’t set up their own exchanges would lose federal subsidies. This essentially means that the entire law would be undermined. President Obama recently held a press conference in which he stated that the Supreme Court should not have even considered the latest challenge to his signature healthcare law, however he believes that justices will “play is straight” and allow the law to remain intact.
Recent pollings show bipartisan support for both sides of the case, however a majority polled that they did not want the Supreme Court to take action. The public’s opinions on the matter, however, is not always within the court’s jurisdiction. Their job is to interpret the law to the best of their abilities, and that means they make very difficult decisions which impact a majority of Americans.
While this case is of great urgency to many, the court’s decision still has not been made public. Their decision on the matter is expected to come out within the following days, and will have a significant impact on the Obama Administration moving forward.