(Washington, DC) -- In a huge win for the Obama administration, the U.S. Supreme Court is upholding taxpayer subsidies in the Affordable Care Act. The vote was 6-3. The case involved federal subsidies for low-income patients in nearly three-dozen states that have not set up health insurance exchanges. The federal government runs exchanges in those states. Plaintiffs challenged some ambiguous language on subsidies in the massive healthcare reform law. A contrary Supreme Court ruling could have gutted Obamacare while causing more than six-million people to lose their health insurance coverage.
In the majority opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts said killing the subsidies in more than three-dozen states would destabilize the health insurance market. He also accused lawmakers of some sloppy writing in crafting the sweeping healthcare reform law. Roberts was the deciding vote in the high court's landmark affirmation of the law in 2012. He wrote that the heart of the law, the individual mandate, was constitutional as a tax.