With a crucial legal decision looming, President Barack Obama said Monday the Supreme Court should not even have considered the latest challenge to his signature health care law but he voiced confidence the justices “will play it straight” — and leave the law intact.
Obama weighed in on the merits of the case against the five-year-old Affordable Care Act as the high court prepares to announce a decision sometime later this month that could wipe out health insurance for millions of people.
Wrapping up a two-day international summit Monday, Obama told reporters there was no reason for the health program to end up in court, maintaining that “the thing is working.”
“Frankly, it probably shouldn’t even have been taken up,” he said.
The remark was a direct and provocative challenge to a court that holds the fate of one of Obama’s top legislative achievements in its hands. To prevail, Obama needs the votes of Chief Justice John Roberts or Justice Anthony Kennedy, one of whom most likely voted to hear the case in the first place.
Pressed in a news conference on whether he had an alternative if he loses in court, Obama insisted he had no “Plan B.” “This would be hard to fix,” he said.
But he made it clear that if the court were to rule against him, then he would place the political burden directly on the Republican-controlled Congress, betting that an angry public would demand a fix.