President Obama applauded the Supreme Court on Thursday for upholding his signature healthcare law.
In a brief statement at the White House, the president argued that the Court “reaffirmed a fundamental principle that here in America — in the wealthiest nation on Earth – no illness or accident should lead to any family’s financial ruin.”
“Today, I’m as confident as ever that when we look back five years from now or ten years from now or twenty years from now, we’ll be better off because we had the courage to pass this law, and keep moving forward.”
Republican lawmakers and interest groups alike, who have actively campaigned against the law since it was passed in 2010, bemoaned Chief Justice John Roberts’ finding that the individual mandate component of the law is constitutional because it operates as a tax, which Congress has the authority to carry out.
In his remarks, Obama omitted any acknowledgement of the tax, but defended the mandate.
“Even though I knew it wouldn’t be politically popular, and resisted the idea when I ran for this office, we ultimately included a provision… that people who can afford to buy health insurance should take the responsibility to do so.”
Obama noted that his campaign opponent, Mitt Romney, passed a similar healthcare law that included an individual mandate during his time as Governor of Massachusetts.
“This idea’s enjoyed support from members of both parties,” Obama said, “including the current Republican nominee for president.”
The president also warned congressional Republicans that attempts to repeal the law legislatively will be met with heavy resistance.
“We will continue to implement this law, and we’ll work to together to improve on it where we can.”
Click the audio icon below to listen to the president’s full statement. (7:12)