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Critical Day for ObamaCare
The nine justices of the Supreme Court on Wednesday will again hold the future of ObamaCare in their hands, as they take up a new legal challenge that could strip insurance subsidies from millions of people.
The court on Wednesday will hear oral arguments in the King v. Burwell case, with the plaintiffs contending that people in 37 states are illegally receiving subsidies through President Obama’s signature law.
The case hinges on the meaning of four words in the text of the law: “established by the state.”
The challengers argue that a plain English reading of the phrase means that subsidies are invalid in the roughly three-dozen states that opted not to set up their own healthcare marketplaces, instead relying on the federal website HealthCare.gov.
Administration lawyers argue a literal reading of the phrase is nonsensical and contradicted by the rest of the law, which they say makes clear that subsidies were intended to be available nationwide.
The outcome of the case could rest on whether a majority of the justices focus on the four-word phrase or opt to view it within the broader context of the Affordable Care Act, experts say.
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