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July 28, 2015

King v Burwell: Subsidizing US Health Insurance for Low- and Middle-Income Individuals

Author Affiliations
  • 1Georgetown University Law Center, O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Washington, DC
  • 2O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2015;314(4):333-334. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.8673

On June 25, 2015, the US Supreme Court once again saved the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) by acting to prevent a “calamitous result that Congress plainly meant to avoid.”1 In King v Burwell, the Court upheld subsidies (tax credits) for purchasing health insurance in federal exchanges, preserving financial assistance for 6.4 million low- and middle-income individuals. An adverse ruling would have placed affordable health insurance out of reach for millions more by disrupting the ACA’s interlocking reforms and destabilizing insurance markets.

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