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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora