Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia is not happy at all about the Supreme Court’s decision to save President Obama’s signature healthcare law.
In a fiery dissent, Scalia lashed out at Chief Justice John Roberts for his key vote to save a key provision of the Affordable Care Act that allowed the federal government to provide healthcare subsidies to Americans in 34 states that did not set up their own healthcare exchanges.
“We should call this SCOTUScare,” Scalia wrote in the dissent.
The case revolved around the interpretation of a key phrase that stated that healthcare exchanges must be “established by the State” in order to receive tax credits. Scalia said that he was baffled that the majority of the justices could interpret this to mean that the federal government could give tax credits in states where exchanges weren’t established by the state.
“Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’ It is hard to come up with a clearer way to limit tax credits to state Exchanges than to use the words ‘established by the State,'” Scalia said.
The conservative justice also remarked that the Court was simply looking over the law’s errors in order to save Obamacare.
“Normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved,” Scalia said.
Although Scalia has been one of the most outspoken critics of the law on the Supreme Court, there’s at least one area that Scalia agrees with the Obama administration — the second challenge to Obamacare shouldn’t have reached the court at all.
“This case requires us to decide whether someone who buys insurance on an Exchange established by the Secretary gets tax credits. You would think the answer would be obvious — so obvious there would hardly be a need for the Supreme Court to hear a case about it,” Scalia said.
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