The Supreme Court spared a key part of President Barack Obama’s signature law in a 6-3 decision Thursday, ruling that the federal government may continue to subsidize health insurance in the dozens of states that did not set up their own exchanges.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who expressed deep reservations when the case was argued about whether striking down the subsidies would coerce states into establishing their own exchanges, joined the court’s four liberals and Chief Justice John Roberts to uphold the subsidies. Roberts, who was the object of immense conservative blowback after he joined the court’s liberals three years ago to uphold the law’s individual mandate, again wrote the majority opinion in support of the Obama administration position.
The law’s challengers argued that four words in the statute — “established by the state” — meant that only people who bought insurance from exchanges in the handful of states that set…
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