U.S. Supreme Court takes up insurers' $12 billion Obamacare dispute

WASHINGTON, June 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to decide whether the federal government must pay insurers $12 billion under an Obamacare program aimed at encouraging them to cover previously uninsured people after the healthcare law was enacted in 2010.

The justices will hear an appeal by a group of insurers of a lower court ruling that Congress had suspended the government's obligation to make the payments. The insurers have argued that the ruling would allow the government to pull a "bait-and-switch" and withhold money they were promised.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)