Viewing these words as a mistake is the simplest interpretation of the law. The other option is to re-interpret lots of other sections, and change the law to be at odds with how the people writing it meant for it to be interpreted.
The writers of the law clearly wanted to establish state exchanges for any state that wanted them, and a federal exchange for any state that didn't want to roll its own, and that all of these exchanges do the same thing. This might not be apparent in that little snippet, but it's very much apparent in the text of the law itself.
It's not as though the SCOTUS majority is pulling meaning out of nowhere for just this passage. Quite the contrary, they'd have had to re-interpret a lot of text to infer that the law was written so as to exclude subsidies for the federal exchange.
Source: I spent 7 years of my life getting a Ph.D. in physics. By the time I got the Ph.D., the only reason left I had for finishing was because I'd started.
A Master's in physics, though, that's legit. You're still having fun, and still learning a lot.
For physics, start by reading an intro textbook.
Be sure to solve the problems at the end of the chapters. You will know physics when you can solve physics problems. If you're not interested in solving the problems, just read some pop physics books.
For astronomy, I would be of no help whatsoever. The math is easier, though; if you can use the Pythagorean Theorem, you're good (I hear).
My background: 36, a Ph.D. in physics, and I work at New York tech startups.
People who are suffering, ignorant, and afraid are more willing to turn to the supernatural - be it religion or superstitions - as a 'solution' to their problems.
I see parallels between this and any number of other situations that make people desperate:
* Cancer patients turning to stem cell "remedies" from quacks who don't bother looking for evidence
* People with autistic children who can't find a cause so they blame vaccines
* People who can't see any obvious good options, so they turn to psychics
Fear is a wonderful tool if you're a charlatan, as it makes your victims less likely to pause and ask whether you're actually qualified to do (or to know) any of the things you claim.
When I was in primary school, I was taught by all teachers to not take any drugs, smoke or drink excessively, even painkillers...
Well, one problem is that the teachers lie through their teeth, demonizing marijuana along with heroin. But then you get to high school, and your friends are smoking weed, having fun, and they look fine. You've got older friends who have smoked pot on & off for years without visible consequences. So you try it and, sure enough, it's not the drug you were warned about by your teachers; it's actually fine, except for the consequences of getting caught. Your teachers lied to you, and now you know it.
And the irony is that the most dangerous, most addictive, most popular drugs (alcohol and tobacco), well, these the ones your teachers tell you to use in "moderation." They imply that there's relative safety in these drugs, which is another lie.
So how should you know about the dangers of addiction from heroin or methamphetamines, when your teachers are demonstrably lying to you about drugs?
I've worked at startups for the last 2 years. It's OK to be one of the "grownups" there and duck out of the social activities. They'll still massively value your work, and I'm sure you'll find plenty of others in your age range to relate to.
BTW, I'm 36, with a wife and 2 kids, and I work in New York.