So the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 on Thursday that the law allows the federal government to provide nationwide tax subsidies to help poor and middle-class people buy health insurance.
The ruling means that it’s all but certain that the law will survive after President Obama leaves office in 2017, says The New York Times.
Conservatives are “steamed” at Chief Justice John Roberts’ “betrayal,” joining the court’s liberals in the ruling, says Politico.
Conservative disappointment with Roberts is likely to raise the profile of judicial selection issues in the Republican presidential primary.
Obama’s successor, whether Republican or Democrat, could play an outsized role in shaping the future of the court, says Carrie Severino, policy director of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network. “The next president could replace Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg or possibly [Justices] Kennedy and Scalia,” she says. “It would be World War III in terms of the amount of influence that president would have.”
Among the many questions about the law’s impact that weren’t resolved by the ruling, number one is whether the law is making health care truly affordable for most consumers, says The New York Times.
Many people complain that they have to pay several thousand dollars in deductibles before they get tangible benefits from insurance policies. Many others say the law has encouraged insurers to narrow their networks of health care providers, limiting the choice of doctors and hospitals available to some consumers. And rate increases could be coming next year.