Students cheer as they hold up signs supporting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) after the Supreme Court decided that the ACA may provide nationwide tax subsidies, Thursday June 25, 2015, outside of the Supreme Court in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
The United States Supreme Court helped America move forward on June 25 by upholding national tax subsidies under the Affordable Care Act to enable the right of healthcare to all citizens. The Court passed the legislation on a 6-3 vote.
“Five years ago, after nearly a century of talk, decades of trying, a year of bipartisan debate, they finally declared that in America healthcare is not a privilege for few, but a right for all,” President Obama said in response to the Court’s decision during a press conference the same day.
The favorable ruling said that the administration could continue to offer subsidies to Americans who buy insurance throughout the nation despite whether or not their state set up an official healthcare exchange. According to CNN, the Court ruling essentially told the administration that it did not misinterpret the law when providing tax subsidies.
“Three generations ago, we chose to end an era when seniors were left to languish in poverty. We passed Social Security, and slowly it was woven into the fabric of America and made a difference in the lives of millions of people,” Obama said. “Two generations ago, we chose to end an age when Americans in their golden years didn’t have the guarantee of health care. Medicare was passed, and it helped millions of people. This generation of Americans chose to finish the job — to turn the page on a past when our citizens could be denied coverage just for being sick.”
President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Thursday, June 25, 2015, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the subsidies for customers in states that do not operate their own exchanges under President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
The decision not only ensures that Americans will continue to have access to affordable healthcare, but it also keeps young adults insured under their parents plans until they turn 26, institutes fairness and care for preventative services, provides discounts to seniors or people with disabilities and ends discrimination against preexisting conditions.
“This is not a set of political talking points. This is reality. We can see how it is working. This law is working exactly as it’s supposed to. In many ways, this law is working better than we expected it to,” Obama said.
Without an approval from the Court, Obama said that America would have gone “backwards” by making health insurance unaffordable to millions of Americans.
However, some Justices did not approve of the law and voted against it. Dissenters included Associate Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr.
According to the Washington Post, Scaila said he was against the measure because the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the act from “major” challenges, including the constitutionality of the law by rewriting the law to change the “penalty” of not holding insurance to a “tax” and language on Medicaid withholding.
The law has consistently been challenged by Republicans since 2010.