If you’ve been following along with our coverage, you know by now that the United States Supreme Court has upheld the state subsidies provision under Obamacare. In Justice Antonin Scalia’s dissenting opinion, however, he argued that such a ruling basically means that “[words] no longer have meaning” — and therefore suggested that the law should be renamed “SCOTUScare.” This is a clear reference to the fact that Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, seems unwilling to review and rule on statutes impartially.
Nevertheless, President Obama convened a press conference moments ago at the White House, basking in his latest SCOTUS victory, and implying Republicans everywhere should give up their quixotic efforts to repeal the law.
“Today after more than 50 votes in Congress to repeal or weaken this law, after a presidential election based in part on preserving or repealing this law, after multiple challenges to this law before the Supreme Court, the Affordable Care Act is here to say,” he said. “This morning, the court upheld a critical part of this law, the part that’s made it easier for Americans to afford health insurance regardless of where you live."
"If the partisan challenge to this law had succeeded," he continued, "millions of Americans would have had thousands of dollars worth of tax credits taken from them. For many, insurance would have become unaffordable again. Many would have become uninsured again. Ultimately, everyone’s premiums could have gone up. America would have gone backwards, and that’s not what we do.”
“As the law’s provisions have gradually taken effect, more than 16 million uninsured Americans have gained coverage so far,” he said. “Nearly one in three Americans, [uninsured] a few years ago, is insured today. The uninsured rate in America is the lowest since we began to keep records — and that is something we can all be proud of."
However, as Katie notes, health care coverage and health care are two very different animals. Plus, the law is deeply unpopular — and has been since it was first signed into law in 2009. Obamacare also hasn’t lived up to many of its core promises: you can’t necessarily keep your plan, costs are higher, premiums are up, and as of last year, more people were hurt by the law than helped by it.
Nevertheless, the president said today during his remarks that the law is “working.”
Is it? For some people, of course, but not for everyone.