Obama says Affordable Care Act is ‘here to stay’ after Supreme Court upholds his signature policy

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Former president Barack Obama says the Affordable Care Act is ‘here to stay’ (AFP via Getty Images)
Former president Barack Obama says the Affordable Care Act is ‘here to stay’ (AFP via Getty Images)

Hours after the Supreme Court ruled against the latest Republican challenge to the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s often-eponymous health care law, the former president celebrated the decision.

“Today, the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act. Again,” Mr Obama tweeted. “This ruling reaffirms what we have long known to be true: the Affordable Care Act is here to stay.”

Ever since Mr Obama signed the ACA – also called Obamacare – into law in 2010, Republicans have repeatedly tried to repeal it in Congress or overturn it in court. Even with majorities in both the House and Senate, however, the party failed to roll back the law, and the Supreme Court upheld it in 2012 and 2015.

On Thursday, the high court protected the ACA once again, ruling that the 18 Republican-led states challenging the law had no standing to sue. In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito called the decision “the third installment in our epic Affordable Care Act trilogy”.

On Twitter, Mr Obama crowed over the law’s successes.

“The principle of universal coverage has been established, and 31 million people now have access to care through the law we passed – with millions more who can no longer be denied coverage or charged more because of a preexisting condition,” he wrote.

Mr Obama appeared to be getting his numbers from a recent report by the US Department of Health and Human Services, which found that 31 million Americans got health coverage through the ACA’s insurance marketplace or its expansion of Medicaid.

The former president also expressed his hopes for Obamacare’s future, and gave a shout-out to his former vice president.

“Now we need to build on the Affordable Care Act and continue to strengthen and expand it,” he wrote. “That’s what @POTUS Biden has done through the American Rescue Plan, giving more families the peace of mind they deserve.”

Finally, just as he did many times during his presidency, Mr Obama encouraged unenrolled Americans to log into the ACA website.

“And because [President Biden] extended the special enrollment period until August 15th, anyone who needs coverage can go to HealthCare.gov and sign up,” he said.

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