Supreme Court keeps ACA exchange subsidies intact — 5 things to know


The Supreme Court ruled nationwide tax subsidies for health insurance exchanges are here to stay, according to a report from The New York Times.

The Supreme Court has been deliberating on King vs. Burwell for the past several weeks, deciding whether tax subsidies given to poor and middle class enrollees were allowed for federally-funded exchanges in addition to state-run exchanges.


Here are five things to know:


1. The Supreme Court justices voted in a six-to-three decision to allow the subsidies for all exchanges, not just the state exchanges. In the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the language says subsidies are available to people purchasing on "an exchange established by the state."


2. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion. The three dissenting judges were Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. In his opinion, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, "In this instance, the context and structure of the act compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase."


3. In voting to maintain the subsidies, Chief Justice Roberts wrote the ACA was passed to improve health insurance markets and interpreted the legislation as such. President Obama's lawyers argued Congress didn't intend to limit subsidies when passing the ACA.


4. More than 6 million people currently have insurance on the marketplace, and removing the subsidies would have impacted many of those people. Around 85 percent of the customers using exchanges qualify for subsidies.


5. Several stakeholders rallied around keeping the subsidies, and after the decision hospital companies saw share prices soar; Tenet Healthcare shares were up 8.8 percent and Community Health Systems shares went up 8.5 percent, according to a Reuters report.


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