Bringing The World Home To You

© 2021 WUNC North Carolina Public Radio
120 Friday Center Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
919.445.9150 | 800.962.9862
91.5 Chapel Hill 88.9 Manteo 90.9 Rocky Mount 91.1 Welcome 91.9 Fayetteville 90.5 Buxton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
NPR Blogs

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

We are reporting today on 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:

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

More Stories