President Barack Obama remains optimistic that the Affordable Care Act will remain the law of the land for years to come despite a pending Supreme Court decision that could derail the legislation.
Before the end of June, the high court is expected to issue a ruling in King v. Burwell, in which ACA opponents claim that only states with their own exchanges are eligible to receive subsidies. If the court rules against the administration, an estimated 6.4 million Americans in states using the federal exchange would lose subsidies totaling $1.7 billion, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Even though President Obama told reporters yesterday there was no reason for the health program to end up in court, maintaining that "the thing is working," he didn't explicitly address the pending case during his remarks at the closing of the Catholic Hospital Association Conference. He spoke about the law being around for years to come, to the point that his own daughters would have coverage options after they turned 26.
“There's something deeply cynical about the ceaseless partisan attempts to roll back progress,” Obama said during the speech in Washington D.C. Tuesday. "I understand people being skeptical or worried before the law was passed and there was no reality to examine. But now that we can see millions of people having health care—and all the bad things that were predicted didn't happen—you'd think it was time to move on."
He went on to say that most people who have obtained coverage as the result of the law are generally happy with their care and the premiums they pay, and noted they would have been as much as $1,800 more today had trends over the decade before the ACA passed continued.
“In the years to come, countless Americans who can now buy plans that are portable and affordable on a competitive marketplace will be free to chase their own ideas, unleash new enterprises across the country, knowing they'll be able to buy health insurance,” Obama said.
The CHA, which is celebrating it's 100th anniversary during this week's conference, was one of Obama's most reliable allies in getting the Affordable Care Act passed. During his speech, Obama said he could not have gotten the law passed without CHA President and CEO Sister Carol Keehan. Keehan wrote in a Modern Healthcare op-ed that the law would help Catholic systems advance their mission of caring for the underserved.