via Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a pillar of the Affordable Care Act, rescuing for the second time the most ambitious social program in nearly 50 years and ensuring that the law’s ultimate fate will be in the hands of the political process.
The 6-3 ruling, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, upheld a signature achievement of President Barack Obama’s tenure. In buttressing the health law’s legal foundation it raised the odds that it may become as entrenched as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
The case turned on whether the law’s wording allowed for federal subsidies to help lower-income Americans nationwide buy insurance. A contrary ruling could have stripped coverage from millions by making their plans too costly. And it would have thrown the insurance and medical industries into turmoil as the 2016 presidential race heats up.
Insurance and hospital businesses, which were preparing for disruptions to the health-care system if the government lost, breathed a sigh of relief and stocks in the companies rose.
“The Affordable Care Act is here to stay,” Mr. Obama said at the White House, adopting a phrase used by cheering supporters of the law outside the Supreme Court.