Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Obamacare

Published on: 15:48PM Jun 25, 2015

The Supreme Court released their long awaited ruling on whether participants obtaining health insurance from the federal marketplace instead of the state sponsored exchanges would be allowed to have subsidies, etc.  In a 6-3 decision (Chief Justice Roberts plus Kennedy and the 4 more liberal justices ruled in favor plus Scalia, Thomas and Alito ruling against), the Court indicated the overall goal of Obamacare was more important than the actual writing of the law.  Even though the law was clear on the writing, the Court ruled that the intent trumped the 4 words in the law that was in dispute.

Justice Scalia thought that the name should be changed from Obamacare to SCOTUScare since the Supreme Court has "saved" the law twice now.  The income-based subsidies were crucial to the law's success and if the Court had ruled against the current law, then 6.4 million Americans, absent a congressional or state fix, would no longer have subsidies.  This ruling is a victory for President Obama, however, I believe that Republicans in Congress may be relieved not to have a fight regarding how to respond if the Court had ruled otherwise.

For farmers, this means that their employees in states where the federal exchange provides the marketplace, the employees will continue to obtain their premium subsidy.

If there is a change in the White House beginning in 2017, we may see some material changes to Obamacare, but until then, the current version will be in effect (with minor changes).