Supreme Court rules ACA subsidies are here to stay

Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC 4 Utah) – A ruling from the highest court in the land is a major victory for the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.

Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled tax subsidies for more than 6,000,000 Americans, including about 86,000 Utahns are here to stay.

“Great news for Utah families and those that have signed up for the Affordable Care Act. It means that the insecurity they might have been living with is gone. They can continue to use their insurance, they will receive their subsidies each month,” said Jason Stevenson with Utah Health Policy Project.

The lawsuit questioned the legality of the federal government subsidizing participants in the 34 states, including Utah that opted to use the federal exchange instead of a state exchange.

Their argument focuses on four words in the law, “established by the state.”

In a 6-3 vote the justices sided with what they saw as the intent of the law.

Utah Senator, Orrin Hatch says they are sending the wrong signal.

“Today’s ruling failed to hold the Obama Administration responsible for its reckless execution of its own poorly crafted law,” said Hatch, ( R ) Ut.

Hatch says congressional republicans will continue to push their own reform idea that gives patients and states more flexibility.

At the state level, this ruling provides clarity in the debate over Medicaid expansion.

But Speaker of the House, Greg Hughes says the group charged to come up with a solution is still working to find common ground.

“This ruling let’s us really kind of ramp it up. It’s not going to be in the next week or so, but now I think we’re a lot closer than we were prior to knowing what the landscape would look like,” said Hughes, ( R ) Draper.

In the meantime more than 50,000 Utahns still have no option for health insurance.

That’s why house democrats say there is no excuse for putting a solution off any longer.

“This is costing lives, this is costing people access to health care that is going to save their lives or improve their lives significantly. So, we’ve waited now for a year and a half, there’s absolutely no reason to wait any longer,” said House Minority Leader, Brian King, (D) Salt Lake City.

This is the second time conservative Chief Justice John Roberts has sided with controversial portions of the law.

The first was in 2012 when the court ruled the individual mandate was constitutional, because it is a tax.

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