Pelosi: Healthcare law is 'ironclad'

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday said Democrats are confident their healthcare law will survive its day before the Supreme Court.

The California Democrat said the law is legally "ironclad" and supporters are "in pretty good shape" just days ahead of the high court's three-day examination of the law.

"We knew that what we were doing when we passed this bill was iron-clad constitutionally," Pelosi said during an event in the Capitol staged by Democrats to celebrate the two-year anniversary of the law. "What happens in the courts is another matter, but we believe that we're in pretty good shape.

"I have faith in the courts and I have faith in the bill," she added.

The Supreme Court next week will hear oral arguments in the case examining the constitutionality of the healthcare law's individual mandate, which requires most Americans to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. Once championed by conservatives, the mandate has come under fierce attack from Republicans and other right-leaning critics who argue it runs roughshod over individual liberty. 

The oral arguments will run through Wednesday, with the court expected to rule in June.

Enacted in 2010, the law is the signature achievement of President Obama's administration, and House Democratic leaders have touted its benefits this week as fiercely as Republicans have attacked it.

Still, polls show the country remains deeply divided over the law, and Obama has remained largely silent about the law on its second anniversary. The combination has led Obama's critics, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), to accuse the president of trying to distance himself from the reforms for political reasons.

"It should say something when the president himself is not even talking about this bill except in non-televised campaign events," McConnell said Wednesday.

Pelosi on Thursday rejected that argument, saying Obama has never shied from backing the law.

"Without the president, [there's] no bill," Pelosi said. "We're very grateful to the president for his leadership." 

She also used the occasion to accuse Republicans of hypocrisy for their hopes that the Supreme Court overturns the insurance mandate. Pelosi said Republicans have "been opponents of judicial review" — except in cases when they disagree with the law being reviewed.

"They have said that when the Congress acts, and the president signs the bill, that is the law of the land," Pelosi said. "So opposed are they to opposing their friends in the insurance industry, to whom they are handmaidens, that they have even broken with their opposition to judicial review."