Major health care reforms victory for Obama

2015-06-25 17:39
(AFP)

(AFP)

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Washington - The US Supreme Court delivered a major victory for President Barack Obama's health care reforms on Thursday in a decision that upholds the subsidies at the heart of the insurance reforms.

The court ruled 6-3 that language in the health care law was meant to allow consumers in all 50 US states to purchase health insurance with government subsidies.

Supporters of the law had gathered outside the court and chanted "ACA is here to stay," referring to the Affordable Care Act, as the decision was handed down.

The case, King v Burwell, revolved around tax subsidies provided to consumers to buy health insurance and whether millions of Americans are entitled to receive the benefits under the law.

If the court had ruled that the subsidies were not legal, about 7.5 million people could have lost the benefits, making the insurance unaffordable and undermining the viability of the entire health insurance programme.

The law made provisions for the 50 states to set up online marketplaces for individuals to purchase health insurance. But many states refused to do so in protest of the law and citizens in those states instead can buy insurance through a federal system.

At issue before the Supreme Court was a brief phrase in the legislation setting out subsidies for those who purchase insurance on health care exchanges "established by the state."

Opponents of the law argued that because of those four words, people who bought insurance through the federal system were not eligible to receive the subsidies.

The majority of the court's nine justices disagreed.

The health care reform has remained a flashpoint of US politics since it passed Congress in 2010, but the Supreme Court upheld the law in 2012.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  health

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