With a big 6-3 decision Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court eased the fears of 70,000 Kansans and millions of other Americans who live in states using the federal HealthCare.gov marketplace and who therefore risked losing the federal subsidies that have helped them afford insurance under the Affordable Care Act. The ruling in King v. Burwell stunned many, including Kansas Republicans who were counting on the case to cripple “Obamacare” once and for all. But Chief Justice John Roberts made it clear in the ruling that the court majority was mindful of Congress’ intent in passing the ACA in 2010 and of the harmful consequences should the court find the federal subsidies to be unlawful in states without state-run exchanges. Judging from the defiant reactions of Kansas’ congressional delegation, it’s too much to hope the decision will motivate the current GOP-led Congress to focus on improving rather than repealing what it sees as a broken, damaging law. – Rhonda Holman
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