The U.S. Supreme Court today upheld a funding mechanism that is a key component of the Affordable Care Act.
In a 6-to-3 decision, the justices preserved the state markets that rely on federal tax credits.
The majority wrote: "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible, we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter. Section 36B can fairly be read consistent with what we see as Congress’s plan, and that is the reading we adopt."
Justice Antonin Scalia, who penned the dissent, wrote: "The Court holds that when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act says “Exchange established by the State” it means “Exchange established by the State or the Federal Government.” That is of course quite absurd, and the Court’s 21 pages of explanation make it no less so."
The Massachusetts Health Connector wouldn't have been directly affected by the decision, which applies particularly to states that don't have their own exchanges.