In a joint news conference with leaders from Canada and Mexico, President Obama told reporters he is “confident” the U.S. Supreme Court will not strike down the health care reform law, a move he said would be “an unprecedented [and] extraordinary step.”
Last week, the Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments in the Florida-led challenge to the health care law. Even though the justices have already cast their votes for the case, the decision will not be announced for months.
Obama says he is confident that the court will not overturn the Affordable Care Act, which he says was “passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress.”
According to the Associated Press, Obama made these remarks:
“We are confident that this will be upheld because it should be upheld,” Obama said during a joint news conference with the leaders of Canada and Mexico. Obama said bluntly: “It’s constitutional.”
“I’m confident that the Supreme Court will not take what would be an unprecedented, extraordinary step of overturning a law that was passed by a strong majority of a democratically elected Congress,” Obama said. “I’d just remind conservative commentators that for years what we’ve heard is the biggest problem on the bench is judicial activism or a lack of judicial restraint.”
“That an unelected group of people would somehow overturn a duly constituted and passed law. Well, here’s a good example. And I’m pretty confident that this court will recognize that, and not take that step,” Obama said.
The president said “there’s not only an economic element to this, and a legal element to this, but there’s a human element to this. And I hope that is not forgotten in this political debate.”
The 26 states challenging the law (a list that includes Florida) are challenging provisions in the law that require everyone to have health insurance and states to expand their Medicaid programs, among other things. Critics of the law have called it an overreach of the federal government’s power.