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Supreme Court backs insurers on $12 billion in Obamacare payments

Greg Stohr

The federal government must abide by a pledge to pay insurers $12 billion to cover the cost of providing especially risky policies under the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled.

The justices, voting 8-1, sided with nonprofit insurance companies that sued after Congress refused to appropriate the money for the ACA’s ”risk corridors” program for three years.

The insurers accused the federal government of reneging on a promise that encouraged them to provide the risky policies. The 2010 health-care law said the government would cover part of the shortfall if claims ended up exceeding premiums.

“The government should honor its obligations,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court. She called that principle “as old as the nation itself.” Justice Samuel Alito dissented.