Notes and quotes from King v. Burwell decision

Pia Christensen

About Pia Christensen

Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.

By Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Roberts Court (2010-) - The Oyez Project) (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons

By Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States (Roberts Court (2010-) – The Oyez Project) (Public domain), via Wikimedia Commons

Here are just a few notes, key quotes and links to coverage of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the subsidies in the Affordable Care Act.

The decision is here.

The phrase “death spiral” appears three times in the majority opinion. Also from the majority opinion:

 “Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them.”

“Here, the statutory scheme compels the Court to reject petitioners’ interpretation because it would destabilize the individual insurance market in any State with a Federal Exchange, and likely create the very “death spirals” that Congress designed the Act to avoid.”

“The Affordable Care Act contains more than a few ex­amples of inartful drafting.”

From the dissenting opinion:

“We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.”

“The Court’s next bit of interpretive jiggery-pokery involves other parts of the Act that purportedly presuppose the availability of tax credits on both federal and state Exchanges.”

“Pure applesauce. Imagine that a university sends around a bulletin reminding every professor to take the ‘interests of graduate students’ into account when setting office hours, but that some professors teach only undergraduates. Would anybody reason that the bulletin implicitly presupposes that every professor has ‘graduate students,’ so that ‘graduate students’ must really mean ‘graduate or undergraduate students’? Surely not.”

“Words no longer have meaning if an Exchange that is not established by a State is ‘established by the State.’”

“But normal rules of interpretation seem always to yield to the overriding principle of the present Court: The Affordable Care Act must be saved.”

From President Barack Obama (some quotes appear here and video is here):

“The setbacks, I don’t remember clearly.”

“The Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”

Since the ACA went into effect, “more than 16 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage.”

“This is not a set of political talking points. This is reality. We can see how it is working.”

“This law is working and it’s going to keep doing just that.”

Related coverage:

Previous coverage:

1 thought on “Notes and quotes from King v. Burwell decision

  1. Eileen Beal

    As I read the comments made by the dissenting SCJ, all I could think was: Wow…the best legal minds of the nation are not only throwing temper tantrums — in full view of the public — but they are creating a whole new vocabulary with which to do so: SCOTUScare, jiggery-pokery, pure applesauce jumped off the screen at me.

    E. Beal

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