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Kennedy Doubts Obamacare Challengers

Justice Anthony Kennedy said there is a “serious constitutional problem” with the way the challengers read the Affordable Care Act during oral arguments in King v. Burwell on Wednesday. If federal tax credits were only available to people living in states that did establish their own insurance exchanges, Kennedy said, the federal government would effectively be coercing states to do so. However, he added that challengers may still win based on a plain reading of the law. The challengers claim the ACA’s tax credits only apply to people living in states with their own exchanges—not in states where the feds are running exchanges. Chief Justice John Roberts, who saved Obamacare’s individual mandate in 2012, did not speak.