Obama Responds To SCOTUS' Obamacare Ruling

by Alex Gladu

Millions of Americans will keep their federally subsidized health insurance, thanks to the Supreme Court's ruling in King v. Burwell, and President Obama is elated about it. On Thursday the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in favor of the federal subsidies that are part of the Affordable Care Out, noting that affordable healthcare should be a right regardless of where you live. It's a decision that the president understandably supports, knowing that one significant piece of his landmark health insurance program will live on the way he intended.

In response to the ruling, Obama held a morning press conference. "The Affordable Care Act is here to stay," he said simply.

We finally declared in America that healthcare is not a privileged for few, but a right for all ... There have been successes & setbacks ... As the dust has settled there can be no doubt that this law is working.

"In many ways, this law's working better than we expected it to be," the president added. "[People have] told me that it's changed their lives for the better. I've had moms come up and say, my son is able to see a doctor, catch the tumor early, and he's alive today because of this law. This law's working. And it's going to keep doing that ... Five years in, this is not about a law ... This is healthcare in America."

The case before the Supreme Court challenged the federal subsidies that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) had given out under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a Obamacare). Those who opposed the subsidies argued that the law, as it was written, only allowed states to subsidize health insurance, not the IRS or any other branch of the federal government. In disagreeing with these critics, the Supreme Court validated Obama's program. More than 6 million Americans, those who rely on federal subsidies, will keep their health insurance as a result.

Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Prior to the ruling, Obama displayed frustration with the case. At a G-7 meeting in Germany early June, the president said the Supreme Court should never have taken up the case in the first place, arguing instead that the burden for fixing the law should fall on Congress. "There's something just deeply cynical about the ceaseless, endless, partisan attempts to roll back progress," he said. (Looking at you, Republicans.)

This isn't the first time the Supreme Court has put an end to what Obama calls "partisan" attacks on his law. In 2012, the Court decided the law — and its ever-controversial individual mandate, which requires Americans to buy health insurance or pay a fine — was constitutional. Following that ruling, Obama celebrated the Supreme Court, much like how he is now.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act — the name of the health care reform we passed two years ago. In doing so, they've reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America — in the wealthiest nation on Earth — no illness or accident should lead to any family's financial ruin.

For now, the battle over Obamacare is settled. Obama and the millions of federally insured Americans can rest easy, while Republicans will most likely head back to the drawing board.

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