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Why The Supreme Court Upheld King v. Burwell

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Thursday's U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on King v. Burwell means that health insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act can continue as is in states like Illinois that use the federal health insurance exchange, instead of a state-run exchange.

University of Illinois law professor Sean Anderson says that this ruling was part of an ongoing debate in the court of how to interpret the law. One faction, led by Justices Scalia and Thomas believe that the law must be read and interpreted literally and "the court has no business saying in effect, well but the statute works so much better if we read it the other way," says Anderson. 

"Other justices, most notably Justice Breyer, have said that 'no we really do need to look at how one interpretation or another would affect how the statute works and see if that actually makes sense based on what we know Congress to have actually intended," said Anderson. 

Anderson says that though the interpretive wing of the court prevailed with this decisions over the past few decades the court has moved further toward a literal reading of the law.  

He talks further about the legal reasoning behind the Supreme Court’s decision --- and the reasoning behind the dissent from the other side.