U.S. Supreme Court Issues Opinion Upholding the Affordable Care Act Tax Credit Provisions

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 opinion in King v. Burwell today, holding that the Affordable Care Act’s tax credits are available to individuals in states with a Federal Health Exchange. Noting that this issue is one of deep economic and political significance, a majority of the Court found that the wording in the Act applying tax credits to insurance purchased from “an Exchange established by the state” was ambiguous. Therefore, the Court looked at the broader structure of the Act to determine the legislative intent.  In so doing the Court found that to apply tax credits only to state-established Exchanges, and not to Federal Exchanges, would destabilize the insurance market, creating the very situation that Congress designed the Act to avoid. The full opinion (including a strongly worded dissent written by Justice Scalia calling the majority opinion “absurd”) can be found here on the Court’s website.


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