Obama defends health care law amid Supreme Court case – USA TODAY
When President Obama gives a major speech on his health care law Tuesday, his audience will include supporters, critics, and perhaps the justices of the Supreme Court.
As the high court considers a case that could gut the law, Obama will address the Catholic Health Association on “how the Affordable Care Act has become part of the fabric of an improved American health care system,” the White House said in a statement.
“There are outcomes we can calculate â the number of newly insured families, the number of lives saved,” Obama plans to say in his speech, according to excerpts released by the White House. “And those numbers add up to success.”
In conjunction with the speech, the White House released an updated report on the law’s effects in each of the 50 states. It has also launched a new interactive long form webpage entitled “Health Care in America” in an effort to promote the law amid ongoing criticism from Republicans and other critics.
“After nearly a century of talk, after decades of trying, after a year of sustained debate, we finally made health care reform a reality for America,” Obama plans to say, according to the excerpts.
Little more than five years after Obama signed the legacy-defined Affordable Care Act, more than 16 million once-uninsured people have gained coverage, the White House said in a statement.
“Americans can no longer be discriminated against for having pre-existing conditions, women can’t be charged more just for being women, and there are no longer lifetime limits on the care Americans receive,” the statement said.
Congressional Republicans and other critics say the law has led to higher costs and inadequate coverage for many Americans. Some of the party’s presidential candidates are calling for a rollback of the new health care system.
The health care law may face a bigger threat from a Supreme Court ruling expected later this month.
The justices will decide whether federal insurance subsidies are available to all Americans, or just those in states that created their own insurance marketplaces. An adverse ruling could mean that up to 6.4 million could lose coverage because they are ineligible for subsidies.
Obama offered his view of the Supreme Court case during a news conference Monday after the G-7 summit in Germany, saying all qualified Americans should be eligible for the subsidies regardless of whether their states set up their own exchanges.
“This should be an easy case,” Obama said.” Frankly, it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up.”
If the court rules differently, Obama said he will call on the Republican-run Congress to change the law: “Congress could fix this whole thing with a one-sentence provision.”
In speech Tuesday morning to the Catholic Health Association, Obama plans to argue that, one way or another, health care reform is here to stay.
“Five years in, what we’re talking about is no longer just a law,” Obama plans to say, according to excerpts. “This isn’t about the Affordable Care Act. This isn’t about Obamacare. This isn’t about myths or rumors that won’t go away. This is reality. This is health care in America.”