As frustrating as the courts can be sometimes, there are days where near-total vindication makes up for a lot of it. This is one of those days.
You can read a more thorough explanation here, but the short version is that if you take one phrase of the Affordable Care Act statute out of context, it appears as if the law does not provide for premium tax credits on federally facilitate exchanges. Conservatives are thus asking the courts to invalidate and prohibit Obamacare subsidies in all Healthcare.gov states.
Well, a D.C. District Court judge has looked at this argument, and concluded that it’s total nonsense.
“In sum, while there is more than one plausible reading of the challenged phrase…when viewed in isolation, the cross-referenced sections, the surrounding provisions, and the ACA’s structure and purpose all evince Congress’s intent to make premium tax credits available on both state-run and federally-facilitated Exchanges.”
This court challenge was intended to kill tax credits for premiums so conservatives could show all the moochers how expensive it really is to get health insurance. As if we didn't already know.
The court felt it necessary to state the obvious, once again:
Nor does plaintiffs’ theory make intuitive sense. A state-run Exchange is not an end in and of itself, but rather a mechanism intended to facilitate the purchase of affordable health insurance. And there is evidence throughout the statute of Congress’s desire to ensure broad access to affordable health coverage.
Hence the term "Affordable Care Act."
Just for fun, go read The Onion's all-too-real article about how we all must long for the days before the Affordable Care Act, a Simpler Time, When the Health Care System Was Beyond Repair.
So sorry, conservatives, but Obamacare isn't going anywhere. Indeed, insurers are even pleased with the direction it's going.