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Supreme Court upholds Affordable Care Act subsidies

The U.S. Supreme Court has preserved a fundamental part of the Affordable Care Act, familiarly dubbed Obamacare, in a decision rendered on June 25, 2015.

At stake was the government's ability to continue health insurance subsidies in the many states that have not established their own health exchanges, also known as marketplaces. Challengers of the law argued that four words, "established by the state," should be interpreted to mean that only those who purchased insurance from their state marketplaces would be entitled to tax credits. The government disputed that stance, maintaining the clear intent of the law was to provide subsidies for all eligible individuals who sought coverage.

The decision means that individuals who are insured through the exchange run by the federal government can continue to receive subsidies.

The average subsidy of $272 a month helps policy holders pay their insurance premiums. "Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them," Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.