The Supreme Court this morning ruled 6-3 that federal subsidies are allowable in states that have federally run health insurance exchanges.
In a ruling issued by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court cited FDA v. Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp, noting that it must read legislative language "in their context and with a view to their place in the overall statutory scheme."
At issue were nine words in the Affordable Care Act which suggested that subsidies would be made available in cases where the "state" established an exchange. The plaintiffs argued that "the state" limited subsidies to exchanges run by state governments, not exchanges in the 30-plus states that are administered by the federal government.
American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock called the ruling "significant victory for protecting access to care for many of those who need it." He went on to say, "The AHA welcomes today’s Supreme Court decision. There were more than six million good reasons for it because it ensures continued access to health insurance subsidies for so many Americans. In the short time the subsidies have been available, hard-working people who are sick, need care for chronic conditions, or want preventive care have been able to seek care more easily. Most significantly, providing access to primary and preventive care helps improve the health and well-being of individuals, family and communities."
Sean Marotta, an associate in the Washington office of Hogan Lovells, focusing on appellate and Supreme Court litigation, and outside counsel for the AHA, is providing real-time analysis of the ruling on AHA Stat, the association's blog.
H&HN Daily have updated coverage later this morning. Stay tuned!