Supreme Court upholds nationwide health care law subsidies, Alabama activists say there’s “still work to do”

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.

The justices said in a 6-3 ruling Thursday that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law.

Chief Justice John Roberts again voted with his liberal colleagues in support of the law. Roberts also was the key vote to uphold the law in 2012.

Justice Anthony Kennedy also voted with his more liberal colleagues.

The outcome is the second major victory for Obama in politically charged Supreme Court tests of his most significant domestic achievement.

Activists with Alabama Arise are calling it a "huge victory" for Alabama's insured.

More than 132,000 Alabamians sought tax credits to afford health insurance. Jim Carnes, a policy analyst with Alabama Arise, says they believe there are tens-of-thousands of Alabamians remaining uninsured.

"We have a lot of work to do to get the word out to them and get them enrolled," said Carnes.

They also have another mission: to close the Medicaid coverage gap.

The numbers vary, but the organization estimates as many as 350,000 Alabamians fall between the cracks.

"Alabamians who make too much to qualify for our current very low-level Medicaid program, but they don't make enough to qualify for the new marketplace coverage that was affirmed by the Supreme Court," explained Carnes.

Toing forward, they will continue their push to see Alabama follow in the footsteps of other states that have expanded medicaid to fill those gaps.