The whole kerfuffle comes down to poorly worded phrasing in the section of the ACA that is under dispute. But really, as Ezra points out, the fundamental purpose of the ACA - the reason it was passed - was to provide assistance to people to buy health insurance if they can’t afford it on their own. That’s the intent of the law. And intent, whether it be of a state legislature, Congress, or the framers of the Constitution, has been a guiding principal in Supreme Court decisions since the dawn of the Republic.
For what it’s worth, if the SCOTUS does take this case (and some have suggested they may not), while the ideologically driven/insane justices like Scalia would probably uphold the appeals court panel decision, the others would clearly see what the intent of the law is, and rule accordingly.
So once again, all the right wing end zone dances - like the ones we’ve seen over Benghazi, the IRS “scandal,” Fast & Furious…even the birther stuff - will have been premature.