The court hears oral arguments Wednesday on whether Obamacare's tax-credit subsidies are limited to people living where an insurance marketplace, known as an exchange, has been “established by the state.”
More than 30 states didn’t set up an exchange, or marketplace, that the health law envisioned for buying insurance. That left their residents to shop on the digital exchange, HealthCare.gov, which the federal government set up.
If a majority of the justices accepts the limit that subsidies only apply to state exchanges, more than six million Americans could lose their health care coverage and insurance markets could collapse in the states using the federal exchange, imperiling the health care law itself, says The New York Times.
The law’s defenders say other provisions in the law, along with its structure and purpose, make clear that it called for subsidies in all 50 states.
The law's opponents say it's the text of the law that matters, not what individual lawmakers knew or believed.