Posted: 1:54 pm Friday, November 7th, 2014
By Jamie Dupree
Wading back in to the highly charged political arena that is the Obama health law, the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday announced that it has agreed to hear a legal challenge to the subsidies offered to some Americans to purchase insurance coverage, vaulting the issue to the top of this year’s Supreme Court term.
The announcement was made in typical Supreme Court fashion – with little fanfare, and no explanation:
At issue is the text of the original law, which opponents argue was written in a way that subsidies are allowed only for people buying insurance through an exchange that has been set up by an individual state – not through the federal heatlhcare.gov website.
For lawmakers in Congress, the dividing lines remain clear on this matter.
“The law works,” tweeted Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY). “Let it stand.”
On the GOP side, they were just as clear – “I have said from the beginning that this issue presents the best chance of finally abolishing President Obama’s health care law,” said Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-TN).
No date was set for arguments in this case, which could quickly become one of the biggest of the 2014-2015 Supreme Court term.
As for White House reaction, Press Secretary Josh Earnest issued this statement:
The ACA is working. These lawsuits won’t stand in the way of the Affordable Care Act and the millions of Americans who can now afford health insurance because of it. We are confident that the financial help afforded millions of Americans was the intent of the law and it is working as Congress designed.
This lawsuit reflects just another partisan attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act and to strip millions of American families of tax credits that Congress intended for them to have. We will continue to ensure that every American has the peace of mind of having access to affordable insurance. We are confident that the Supreme Court will recognize both the clear reading of the entire law, and the certain intent of Congress in crafting it. Indeed, with uninsured rates plummeting across the country, it’s clear that the Affordable Care Act is already working. American families who have already enrolled, or are planning to sign up during the open enrollment period beginning on November 15th should know that nothing has changed: tax credits and affordable coverage remain available.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.