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Supreme Court rejects challenge to Affordable Care Act

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3514 (Published 26 June 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h3514
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

The US Supreme Court has rejected by six votes to three a challenge to the Affordable Care Act that, had it succeeded, threatened to upend the 2010 health legislation.1

In the challenge four plaintiffs had argued that the law did not authorize the US Internal Revenue Service to use tax credits to subsidize premiums for health insurance plans purchased through the health exchange run by the federal government, HealthCare.gov.

The challenge focused on a six word phrase in the 900 page law that authorized tax credits for premiums purchased through “an Exchange established by the State.”2 A plain reading of those words, the plaintiffs contended, authorizes tax credits for state run exchanges only, not for the exchange established by the federal government.

Thirty six states decided not to set …

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