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

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge 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.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid