The Country's Sharply Divided Reactions to King v. Burwell Ruling on Subsidies

With the Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell keeping subsidies available to consumers on the federally facilitated marketplace, healthcare associations, insurers, health plans, and other stakeholders have been voicing their support and relief at the 6-3 ruling.

With the Supreme Court ruling in King v. Burwell keeping subsidies available to consumers on the federally facilitated marketplace, healthcare associations, insurers, health plans, and other stakeholders have been voicing their support and relief at the 6-3 ruling.

Bernard J. Tyson, CEO and chairman of Kaiser Permanente, which operates in 2 states that would have been affected—Georgia and Virginia—stated that Kaiser believes in equal access to healthcare for all, which the ruling ensures.

“Today’s Supreme Court ruling provides millions of people in America with the comfort of knowing that if they get sick and need care, they will have continued access to high-quality and affordable health care coverage,” he said.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts released its own statement from president and CEO Andrew Dreyfus, celebrating the fact that all Americans will have access to coverage that the state’s residents have known for years.

"As we've learned in the nine years since our reform law passed, health coverage must also be affordable,” he said. “We're focused on working with others in a spirit of shared responsibility to achieve our collective goal of making quality health care affordable for the people and employers of Massachusetts."

The interim CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the top health insurance trade group, vowed that health plans will lead advances on ensuring affordable coverage.

“With the certainty provided by the Supreme Court’s decision, now is the time to focus on what matters most to consumers— ensuring access to affordable coverage and high-quality health care,” Dan Durham said.

Not all the responses were positive. Opponents of the law were dismayed by the ruling, as was Justice Antonin Scalia, who wrote the dissent.

Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas and a presidential candidate hopeful for 2016, called the Supreme Court’s decision “an out-of-control act of judicial tyranny,” in a post on his website. In his opinion, the authors of the law were intentional in the way they wrote it, and the court should have no authority to rescue Congress from creating a bad law.

“The solution is for Congress to admit they screwed up, repeal the "nightmare of ObamaCare", and let states road-test real health care reforms,” he wrote.

The National Center for Public Policy Research said that a ruling for the government means Americans will have to suffer with the problems of the Affordable Care Act for the foreseeable future. David Hogberg, PhD, senior fellow at the center, said that the exchanges are already showing signs of a death spiral, and that a ruling for the plaintiffs would have been a great opportunity.

“The Court has had two chances to stand up for freedom and against ObamaCare and has blown them both,” Dr Hogberg said in a statement. “This won't change the fight for health care freedom. It will just take more time to move toward a free-market based health care system.”