The Supreme Court ruled 6-3 Thursday to uphold a crucial component of the Affordable Care Act, deciding in the case King v. Burwell that subsidies to millions of people in 34 states that buy their health insurance through a federally created marketplace would remain legal. U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver remarks on the ruling at 11:30 a.m. – watch him here.
Supporters of the law hailed the decision, which came out shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday. Had the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, it could have struck down subsidies distributed to millions of Americans to help offset the cost of health insurance, rendering up to 8.2 million people newly unable to afford such coverage.
This is the second time the high court has upheld a major component of Obamacare. In the first, the court upheld the law’s individual mandate, or the requirement that every person who is deemed financially able either purchase health insurance or pay a fine. That ruling, which declared that the mandate was constitutional, was delivered in 2012 in a ruling of 5-4.
Republican critics slammed the court's decision, even as it saved them from the arduous task of having to devise a plan to rescue the millions of people who would have lost their insurance, had the decision been in favor of the plaintiffs.
“Americans deserve better than what we’re getting with Obamacare. It’s time we repealed and replaced it!” former Texas governor and 2016 Republican candidate for president Rick Perry tweeted. “The Obama Administration has ignored the text of the Affordable Care Act time and again, and today’s ruling allows them to continue to disregard the letter of the law,” he added in a statement, he claimed that.
Marco Rubio, a Republican senator from Florida who is also running for the presidency in 2016, tweeted, “We need Consumer Care, not ObamaCare.”