News / USA

Obama: Health Care Ruling a Victory for All Americans

President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, June 28, 2012, after the Supreme Court ruled on his health care legislation.
President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, June 28, 2012, after the Supreme Court ruled on his health care legislation.
WHITE HOUSE -- President Obama says the Supreme Court ruling upholding the health-care reform law, his landmark legislative achievement, is a victory for all Americans. Although the ruling is a major victory for the president, Republicans are describing it as a momentary defeat, and they vow they will repeal the law.

Obama spoke in the White House East Room after the high court issued its ruling on the Affordable Care Act.

In the court's 5-4 ruling, the conservative chief justice voted with four liberals in upholding the centerpiece of the law, the so-called individual mandate requiring people to have health insurance by 2014 or pay a financial penalty.

Since Congress passed the law in 2010 against Republican opposition, a national political battle has ranged over this provision, which opponents said violated the Constitution by forcing people to buy a product they may not want.

Facts About The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare”

  • Individual mandate requiring all U.S. citizens to have health insurance either through private companies, their employers, or state-sponsored exchanges. Failure to do so will result in a fine.
  • Insurance companies banned from denying coverage to applicants with pre-existing health conditions.
  • Insurance companies required to include preventative health care at no extra cost, banned from setting limits on payouts for coverage.
  • Companies employing over 50 people required to provide those employees with health insurance.
  • Children allowed to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until 26 years of age. 
President Obama said the ruling will be the subject of intense discussion, but it is a victory for all Americans.

"I know there will be a lot of discussion today about the politics of all this - about who won and who lost," he said. "That is how these things tend to be viewed here in Washington. But that discussion completely misses the point. Whatever the politics, today's decision was a victory for people all over this country, whose lives will be more secure because of this law and the Supreme Court's decision to uphold it."

The Supreme Court's majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, said legal precedent demonstrates that Congress has the power to impose a tax, and this principle justifies keeping the mandate in force.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy said he and three conservative justices believe the entire law is invalid.

Obama has faced criticism of the way he pushed the health care law through Congress, with some in his own Democratic Party saying he did not do enough to educate Americans about its benefits.

In his East Room remarks he listed those benefits and said he understands the concerns Americans expressed in what has been a "divisive" debate. But he urged Americans to leave that behind them.

"The highest court in the land has now spoken," the president said. "We will continue to implement this law. And we will work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won't do - what the country can't afford to do - is re-fight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were."

  • Demonstrators celebrate outside the Supreme Court after the court's ruling on health care, June 28, 2012.
  • U.S. President Barack Obama makes a statement in the East Room of the White House in Washington about the Supreme Court's decision on his Administration's health care law.
  • Claire McAndrew and Donny Kirsch, both of Washington, celebrate after the court's ruling.
  • Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney speaks about the Supreme Court's health care ruling in Washington. "As you might imagine, I disagree with the Supreme Court's decision and I agree with the dissent," he said.
  • House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi relays the breaking news to her staff on Capitol Hill in Washington.
  • Supporters of the Affordable Healthcare Act celebrate in front of the Supreme Court after the court upheld the legality of the law.
  • Supporters gathered in front of the Supreme Court before the court's announcement.
  • Tea Party supporter William Temple protests against President Barack Obama's 2010 health care overhaul outside the Supreme Court.
  • Protesters' shadows are cast outside the Supreme Court.

Aiming to provide insurance to about 30 million Americans who have not had it, the law contains a number of provisions that enjoy strong public support.

These include preventing insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing health conditions, banning limits on payouts for coverage, and allowing young people to stay on parents' insurance plans until the age of 26.

Despite this major victory, the president now faces the opposition party's intensified efforts to repeal the law. Republicans who control the House of Representatives scheduled a vote for July 11.
 
In the U.S. Senate, Republican minority leader Mitch McConnell spoke shortly after the court ruling was announced.

"Republicans will not let up whatsoever in our determination to repeal this terrible law and replace it with the kind of reforms that will truly address the problems it was meant to solve," he said.

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said the court did not endorse the law as "good policy," and renewed his vow to repeal the legislation if he is elected.

"This is a time of choice for the American people. Our mission is clear. If we want to get rid of Obamacare we're going to have to replace President Obama. My mission is to make sure we do exactly that," he said.

After the court ruling, Republicans and opponents of the health care law renewed assertions that it will drive health care costs higher and add to the federal government's budget deficit and long-term debt.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Perry Duis from: Urbana, IL
June 30, 2012 2:21 PM
If the American people reelect Obama then they will deserve the disaster that will follow, which will permanently alter the course of American history, and signal the end of American greatness to the detriment of the world and mankind. If they throw him out, they will be acting consistently with that greatness to which they have always risen when confronted by seemingly unchallengeable obstacles and adversity. An Obama victory may well lead to the ultimate end of the American nation as we know it, and potentially bring civil war. Another four years of devolution, drift, and dysfunction will weaken our center irreversibly, and it will not hold. Americans must make a choice between two very clear futures: one of limited-government free-market growth and prosperity, and one of government-focused socialist decline and dissolution. It really is that simple. There is no pot of gold at the end of Obama's rainbow.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More