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'SCOTUSCare': Justice Scalia Issues Withering Dissent On Obamacare Subsidies

We are reporting todayon the Supreme Court's 6-3 decision to uphold the nationwide subsidies called for in the Affordable Care Act. One of the three justices who opposed the ruling was Justice Antonin Scalia, who issued a strong dissent.

Here are some highlights:


Scalia referred to the Affordable Care Act, which is also called Obamacare, as SCOTUSCare, an apparent reference to the fact that the Supreme Court has now twice rescued President Obama's signature achievement. Scalia was in the minority in the 2012 decision, too. Here's the relevant part of his dissent:

Six Words

Thursday's case hinged on six words in one section of the law. As NPR's Nina Totenberg pointed out in April: Those words stipulate that for people who cannot afford health coverage, subsidies are available through "an exchange established by the state." Here's how Scalia interpreted that section:

Scalia's Reasoning

The justice laid out his rationale:

You can read the court's majority opinion — as well as Scalia's dissent below:

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Krishnadev Calamur is NPR's deputy Washington editor. In this role, he helps oversee planning of the Washington desk's news coverage. He also edits NPR's Supreme Court coverage. Previously, Calamur was an editor and staff writer at The Atlantic. This is his second stint at NPR, having previously worked on NPR's website from 2008-15. Calamur received an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri.