Members of the King v. Burwell plaintiffs' legal team, including Kazman, Pruitt, Pamela and Douglas Hurst, and Carvin, exit the Supreme Court building after arguments in Washington

U.S. Supreme Court split over Obamacare challenge

Members of the King v. Burwell plaintiffs' legal team, including Kazman, Pruitt, Pamela and Douglas Hurst, and Carvin, exit the Supreme Court building after arguments in WashingtonBy Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court appeared sharply divided on ideological lines on Wednesday as it tackled a second major challenge to President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, with Justice Anthony Kennedy emerging as a likely swing vote in a ruling. The nine justices heard 85 minutes of arguments in the case brought by conservative opponents of the law who contend its tax credits aimed at helping people afford medical insurance should not be available in most states. A ruling favoring the challengers could cripple the law dubbed Obamacare, the president’s signature domestic policy achievement. Kennedy, a conservative who often casts the deciding vote in close cases, raised concerns to lawyers on both sides about the possible negative impact on states if the government loses the case, suggesting he could back the Obama administration.

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