June 28th, 2012
01:00 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama: Supreme Court decision is a 'victory'

(CNN) – President Barack Obama applauded the Supreme Court's decision Thursday to uphold his controversial health care reform legislation, which has endured relentless debate since it was signed into law in 2010.

Speaking in the East Room of the White House, Obama said the ruling was "a victory for people all over this country whose lives will be more secure because of this law."

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In a 5-4 ruling, the high court decided the individual mandate requiring people to have health insurance is valid as a tax, even though it is impermissible under the Constitution's commerce clause.

While Obama acknowledged the issue has been "divisive" in the years since he assumed office, he maintained his push for the law was not driven by politics.

"I didn't do this because it was good politics," Obama said. "I did it because I believed it was good for the country. I did it because I believed it was good for the American people."

Regardless, the political implications of the decision are widely expected to amplify as a major talking point on the campaign trail. Presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has repeatedly vowed to repeal the law on his first day in office if he becomes president.

"What the court did not do on its last day in session, I will do on my first day if elected president of the United States, and that is, I will act to repeal Obamacare," Romney said Thursday, responding to the decision.

Obama, for his part, took a swipe at his opponent in his address, pointing to Romney's own health care law as former Massachusetts governor–a measure after which Democrats say the federal health care law was modeled, as it also included a mandate to buy insurance.

"Even though I knew it wouldn't be politically popular, and resisted the idea when I ran for this office, we ultimately included a provision in the Affordable Care Act that people who can afford to buy health insurance should take the responsibility to do so," Obama said. "In fact this idea has enjoyed support from members of both parties, including the current Republican nominee for president."

Now that the Supreme Court has ruled the individual mandate is a tax, not a penalty, political analysts say Republicans will likely argue that Obama's legislation introduces a mammoth tax onto the American public.

However, Obama said Thursday his administration will keep fighting to protect it.

"The highest court in the land has now spoken," Obama said. "We will continue to implement this law."


Filed under: 2012 • Health care • President Obama • Supreme Court
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. Myviewis

    Congratulations Obama and Democrats for this Win!!!!! We'll see how many individuals will be happy to pay a health insurance policy if their boss decides to stop offering health insurance? IRS now is empowered to impose the TAX LAW that all individuals must buy a health insurance policy and IRS will require proof. One more tax law to worry about. I bet Democrats will be the first screaming for government money to help them pay their health insurance policy.

    June 28, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  2. Roy

    Before Obama we had TAXPAYER FUNDED HEALTHCARE. Freeloaders could go to the emergency room and get care for free.

    Obamacare has a MANDATE so that freeloaders must buy insurance. This REDUCES what taxpayers must pay.

    That is why repealing Obamacare will make the Deficit bigger.

    June 28, 2012 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  3. Dora Villanueva

    Good job justices!  There is hope for the country...,. Yayyyyy on passing healthcare vote!!!!!! Now time to come together to perfect the details.... This is not about Republicans or Democrats it is about human being!

    June 28, 2012 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  4. Namemichelle

    Please show Obama's full response again

    June 28, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Myviewis

    Dora Villanueva
    Good job justices! There is hope for the country...,. Yayyyyy on passing healthcare vote!!!!!! Now time to come together to perfect the details.... This is not about Republicans or Democrats it is about human being!
    -------------------------

    What hope is this?? that we answer to the IRS on our buying of our health insurance policy? How do we come together? It is under the IRS control now. We don't have a saying. It became a TAX and taxes are handled by the IRS.
    I don't see your point.

    June 28, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  6. lolo

    People you see the corporations and the right have an agenda. As long as the true Americans see through these clowns we can stop them at all turns. Now here they come with, it is a tax. So if it is the rightwing nuts and the states that they live in can bow out. Let them pay for the uninsured in their states and make it a law that they can not run to other states who do have healthcare reform. Better yet why don't they move to the moon colony that Newt wants to build. America is moving forward and Thank you President Obama for caring about real people.

    June 28, 2012 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  7. Marry

    Congratulation Mr. President!! Thank you for your courage, thank you for caring, thank you, thank you!!!!
    Congratulation to you, Democrats/Independents/a few Republicans across the country! Now, go out and vote in November to keep what was so difficult for you to get!!

    June 28, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  8. Myviewis

    Roy

    Before Obama we had TAXPAYER FUNDED HEALTHCARE. Freeloaders could go to the emergency room and get care for free.

    Obamacare has a MANDATE so that freeloaders must buy insurance. This REDUCES what taxpayers must pay.

    That is why repealing Obamacare will make the Deficit bigger.
    -------------------------------------

    I agree with you but what happens if your boss decides not to offer you a health insurance policy and you are forced by the IRS to purchase an individual health insurance policy and you can't afford it? How will you deal with the IRS penalty because this is a TAX now?

    June 28, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  9. andrew

    I ageee with Ron it will stop the unecessary ER visits because everone has no excuse for seeing their doctor. Because everone has insurance this should help mitigate the crazy busy ERs. If Employers drop insurance won't they have to compensate for the employees loss of benefits as well as pay the penalty?

    June 28, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  10. Dean

    So why is it that Romney pledges that as President he will immediately repeal a program that he is the ultimate architect of??? Does he not have the courage of his conviction?

    June 28, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  11. anagram_kid

    Myviews wrote…what happens if your boss decides not to offer you a health insurance policy and you are forced by the IRS to purchase an individual health insurance policy and you can't afford it? How will you deal with the IRS penalty because this is a TAX now?
    First, if you work for someone who does not offer insurance, that is your decision and you have to accept the consequences of not being able to secure a job that includes health benefits. Secondly, as a contractor, I have found that in some cases self insurance was cheaper than the plan offered by my company. And finally people who cannot afford the coverage will have gov’t assistance.

    June 28, 2012 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  12. Joe

    This is a terrible day for healthcare in America and we must vote this failure out of office to overturn this law! Anyone celebrating this win clearly does not work in medicine or research and development or understand healthcare in general. American WAS the leader in medical treatment and advances in medicine. That would be over with this law. You like having new treatments, drugs and advancements for your illnesses- say goodbye. You simpletons hear free healthcare for all and you think it's as simple as that- you have no clue at the destruction it's going to do not only to medicine but to the economy. Obama must go! If you don't want medicine to become poor, if you want to continue to lead the world in medical advancements and create jobs in the medical field, if you don't want the economy to get worse, if you don't want the government in charge of your healthcare- Obama must go! You shouldn't be happy this law passed, you should be scared for yourself and the future of America!

    June 28, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  13. Larry L

    We were paying for the uninsured BEFORE the new law. Those able to pay but trying to get "free" care will have a bill to pay – as they should. Those too poor to pay for healthcare (or healthcare premiums) will still be too poor. Medicaid and other programs will help them – just like they do now. They just won't produce "invisible" charges at emergancy rooms passed on to the rest of the consumers.

    This law will increase the number of people in the pool so insurance companies can provide the provisions Americans overwhelmingly approve. Does anybody believe they could afford to insure only the sick people?

    The preventive health measures of the law and the "best practices" provisions will lower healthcare costs – taking the profit out of unnecessary tests and procedures. IT WAS ROMNEY'S BEST IDEA EVER! NOW HE DENIES KNOWING ANYTHING ABOUT IT!

    June 28, 2012 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair wrote:

    If you REALLY think this is going to lower your premiums, you've been severely mislead. And I've never heard of a "moog" point, but that's a moot point.
    ----------–
    If you REALLY think that the ACA is going to cause higher premiums, then you have been severely mislead. Premiums will go up anyway, with or without the ACA. What the ACA does is stop the ridiculous, unlimited premium hikes. Remember how Blue Cross(?) in CA tried to jack up rates by over 40%? The ACA required them to justify it, and prove it with more than words and talking points. They couldn't justify it, and they rolled back the 40% hike to under 5%.

    June 28, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
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